Coulthard offers insights into why F1 title eluded Scot

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Was David Coulthard world championship material in Formula 1? The man himself offered a few reasons on why his efforts to win the crown fell short during his tenure as a Grand Prix driver.

Coulthard raced in F1 from 1994, when he made his in-season debut with Williams as Ayrton Senna's replacement, to 2008 when he concluded his career among motorsport's elite with Red Bull.

While he won his first F1 race with Williams in 1995, the bulk of the Scot's 13 wins was achieved with McLaren between 1997 and 2003.

Coulthard finished four times on the championship's podium and enjoyed his best season in 2001 when he finished runner-up to Michael Schumacher in the Drivers' standings.

On his recent 'Formula for Success' podcast which he hosts with former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan, Coulthard was wound up by the latter and promptly asked why he had never succeeded in winning the world title in F1.

A Coulthard turned serious then offered his account on why he always came up short despite his best efforts.

"There were a couple of things," said the Channel 4 and Formula 1 commentator.

"One, I was a late transitioner to left-foot braking. The writing was on the wall when Mika [Hakkinen] and I were teammates at McLaren that right foot braking compromised your ability in medium-speed corners.

"Obviously, if you’re right-foot braking, you have to remove the throttle completely to apply pressure and then go back. So that kind of held me back a little bit.

"Once I did learn and get comfortable with left-foot braking, I think my strongest year really was 2001, I was in the hunt for a World Championship with Michael and finished second."

A humble and honest Coulthard admitted that he did ultimately did not have the 'Wow' factor that separates the good from the great in F1.

"Would it have been nice? Of course, it would," he added.

"But do I think I deserve, based on my 15 years to be in the same category as what I consider the World Champions?

"There are headline guys, men and women who stand out because you go ‘Wow, how did they do that?’ I didn’t have that wild ‘How did you do that?’

"So, therefore, no. I’m entirely comfortable with the career I had.

"That’s what still draws me to Formula 1 today. When you see Lewis [Hamilton] and some of his races you go ‘That’s unbelievable’. When I see these standout performances, that is just remarkable and that’s what still draws me to the sport."

Jordan nevertheless propped his good friend's merits in terms of his absolute speed when he referenced a comment made to him recently by Coulthard's former Williams teammate Damon Hill.

"I had a conversation with Damon Hill recently and I said ‘Tell me really, what was DC?'” Jordan told Coulthard. "He said you were amazingly fast. He said you were really quick.

"And I said, ‘Really?’

"Damon said ‘When David was in front of me, I honestly never thought that I could catch up. But, five laps later, [David would] dump it in the wall!'"

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