Coulthard tells Red Bull: learn to accept criticism

David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Advisor / Channel 4 F1 Commentator. 28.10.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico, Practice
© XPB 

Former F1 driver David Coulthard has advised his old team Red Bull to learn to accept criticism from the media and fans rather than getting riled and annoyed by 'cheap' or even unfair attacks.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner got into an increasingly acrimonious dispute with his Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff when the title went down to the wire in 2021.

And last year, Red Bull boycotted Sky Sports during the Mexican Grand Prix weekend after it took issue with comments made by pitlane reporter Ted Kravitz at the previous event.

Coulthard said that Horner and the team needed to avoid such disputes in the future and learn to accept criticism even while not agreeing with it, just as other teams had been made to do before it.

“I can only imagine how much stick Ferrari get in Italy every single day, for example,” he told Mirror Sport. this week.

“I suspect McLaren are sensitive to some criticism, and Mercedes had some criticism during their dominant era as well. You’ve just got to accept it.

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in parc ferme with David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Advisor / Channel 4 F1 Commentator. 23.05.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Monaco

"Obviously Red Bull and Christian are going to be sensitive to any criticism of what they do, because it’s personal," he acknowledged.

“It’s an old expression, but one [my former Red Bull team mate] Mark Webber used a lot: ‘To know what it’s like to be somebody, you’ve got to walk a mile in their shoes.

“When it comes to the media, they all have the right to interpret the scenario and events based on their particular vantage point.

“We’ve created all these outlets, and for those who are angry or extremely opinionated it’s an opportunity for them to talk to those who can be influenced by it.

“There’s the ‘Piers Morgan’ style, where you take an extreme position and, without crossing any libellous lines, it gets talked about.

"You could argue that’s good ‘business journalism’, because you’re dragging people towards your articles and comments.

“Just because someone is an educated wordsmith, it doesn’t mean they are not commercially driven. A little bit of controversy is a good way to build some hype.

Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal. 01.10.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 17, Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Qualifying

“I see Formula 1 from the view of having been a driver, so there are a lot of things that I’ll have an opinion on that others won’t. But that doesn’t mean those opinions are not valid.

“If you only ever see things from people who agree with you, or say nice things about you, then that’s a very blinkered view on life."

Coulthard raced for Red Bull from 2005 until 2008 having previously competed for Williams and McLaren.

He's now one of the presenters of Channel 4's Formula 1 coverage in the UK, and frequently conducts post-race podium interviews as well as acting as a consultant to Red Bull's junior team AlphaTauri.

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