David Coulthard is keen to be the first driver making a move with regard to next season, even if his preference is to remain exactly where he is.

The Scot has already enjoyed two full campaigns at Red Bull Racing, but is currently in the final year of his extension and wants to sign up for at least another as soon as possible. Having helped the team transform itself from the disappointing Jaguar years, DC can see Adrian Newey's arrival beginning to take effect, and wants to reap the rewards for his efforts.

"Of course I want to stay," he was quoted by Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "I have been doing the hard part of the work here, so why would I want to step to one side?

"We have started to see the progress, and we will be developing everything through the course of the year. That is what we have to do to move into that one-second window behind Ferrari and McLaren."

Fifth place, and Red Bull's first points of the year, in Spain last time out will have helped Coulthard's cause, and the arrival of fellow non-Red Bull driver Mark Webber this season has reinforced the precedent for the team looking to the best available talent, rather than youth that it has fostered through the ranks.

Test driver Michael Ammermuller may stake a claim to DC's ride should he turn around a so-far low-key GP2 campaign, while Robert Doornbos will hope that his Champ Car exploits - which have thus far yielded two podiums in three races - will move him back into the frame, but neither can offer the Scot's key asset - experience.

Although the 'silly season' seems to start earlier and earlier with each passing season - a perception not helped by Kimi Raikkonen's 'will he, won't he' dalliance with Ferrari - Monaco is often the location for the first rumours to begin surfacing. While the top two teams appear locked in to their drivers, those behind will soon be linked with possible changes, with Giancarlo Fisichella's seat at Renault and those at BMW the most likely to come under scrutiny.

 

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