|First race||Spanish Grand Prix||Catalunya||May 29, 1994||Race results|
|Last race||Brazilian Grand Prix||Interlagos||November 2, 2008||Race results|
For much of his career David Coulthard carried the hopes of British fans, but despite driving cars with championship-winning potential, he never took the ultimate prize. As a driver he was very highly respected in the paddock and after retiring he was made a pundit on the BBC's F1 coverage.
He started karting at eight-years-old in Scotland and was a multiple national champion by the time he stepped up to Formula Ford at the end of 1988. In his first full season he won the FF1600 title and he soon started moving up through the ranks. In 1990 he won the McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award and was given a test in that year's championship-winning McLaren. By 1993 he was testing regularly for Williams and had progressed into the ultra-competitive F3000 championship, where he finished third overall behind Pedro Lamy and champion Olivier Panis. During the same season he competed at Le Mans and won the GT class in a Jaguar XJ220, only to be disqualified after the event for having an illegal exhaust system.
In 1994 he was named as Williams' official test driver and was drafted in to race when Ayrton Senna died in an accident at Imola. He competed in eight races that season and scored a podium finish in Portugal before he was replaced by returning champion Nigel Mansell for the final three rounds. For 1995 he was given a full season alongside Damon Hill, and with it came his first F1 victory. 1996 saw him move to McLaren to partner Mika Hakkinen, where he began a long and successful relationship with the team. With the increased involvement of Mercedes as an engine supplier, it went from strength-to-strength and he won at least one race every season from 1997 to 2003. However, his championship-winning opportunity passed him by and he instead played second fiddle to Hakkinen's title bids in 1998 and 1999. His best season result was in 2001 when he finished a distant second behind Michael Schumacher.
In 2005 he moved to Red Bull where he saw out the last four years of his career. He appeared to leave one year too early, as Adrian Newey's prodigious design influence only started to bear fruit in 2009. Despite the odd comment to the contrary, however, Coulthard is content with his new position at the BBC, where he offers a driver's perspective on every race, and in 2011 he replaced Jonathan Legard as a main commentator alongside Martin Brundle.
Strengths and Weaknesses
He was a consistent performer during his career but lacked the necessary edge to win championships. He also got involved in a large amount of accidents.
Winning the French Grand Prix in 2002 and giving Schumacher the middle finger during their tight battle for the lead.
Crashing out on the first lap of his last grand prix after scoring just eight points in a disappointing final season.
"I am not motivated by recognition, I just do things I like doing - racing, shagging, eating and drinking."
On sitting in the cockpit on the 2008 British Grand Prix grid: "I can feel the water soaking into my boxer shorts, and at my age I'm not sure whether I've wet myself or if it's the rain."
His all-time hero is Hugh Hefner and he admits to having read Playboy magazine from cover to cover in his youth. "Yes, it featured naked women but they weren't the point of the magazine," he said in an interview. "It was more about aspiration and a certain kind of good living."