David Coulthard could be set to return to the cockpit in 2010, if reports emanating out of Germany are to be believed – with the Scot seemingly eyeing a competitive comeback in the DTM.
Following 246 starts at the highest level – yielding 13 grand prix victories, 62 podium finishes and a staggering 535 points, making him statistically the most successful British driver in top flight history and the fourth-most successful of all time, behind only multiple world champions Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna – Coulthard hung up his F1 helmet at the end of the 2008 campaign.
Since then, he has retained a role at Red Bull Racing as a consultant and occasional test driver, but the 38-year-old has been more visible as a face of the BBC F1
commentary team, working alongside anchorman Jake Humphrey and fellow pundit and former team owner Eddie Jordan.
Now, however – following a year away from the action and the birth of his son, Dayton – it seems the competitive fire has been re-awakened inside Coulthard, who recently confessed that he perhaps walked away from F1 a year too soon.
What's more, having visited the final meeting on the 2009 DTM calendar at Hockenheim, rumours hint that the Twynholm native's strong links with Mercedes-Benz from his nine seasons spent at McLaren between 1996 and 2004 could pave the way for a tin-top switch in 2010, a scenario for which the pan-European touring car series' boss Hans-Werner Aufrecht has made no attempt to hide his enthusiasm.
“The cars are difficult to drive, but they are great,” Coulthard mused, quoted by F1SA
. “They look great as well. In Formula 1 we talk about double-diffusers, [but] these cars look like they have diffusers to a factor of 15! The technology level is very high.
“I wanted to take a year off to see if I missed racing, and to see if there were any options outside of Formula 1.”
Coulthard does have prior experience of racing with a roof over his head, having made a one-off appearance in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) in a Cook Racing-run Vauxhall Cavalier GSi at Snetterton back in 1990 and having competed in the iconic round-the-clock Le Mans 24 Hours for TWR Jaguar three years later, just under a year prior to making his F1 bow.