It’s Time to Race With 13-time Grand Prix winner and Channel 4 F1 Pundit David Coulthard MBE

On this special episode of “Listen In With KNN” sports talk radio show/podcast presented by FOX Sports Radio, award-winning broadcast host Kelsey Nicole Nelson welcomed special guest David Coutlthard MBE to the show. Coulthard is a former Formula One racer who competed for 13 seasons totalling 13 Grand Prix finishes and 62 podium finishes. He is also a commentator for Formula One races on television in Britain. 

In what was an engaging and interesting discussion on the sport of F1, Nelson and Coulthard, who is referred to as DC during this interview, delved into the details of his different accolades, notable drivers of the sport and the growth of F1 along with numerous other topics as well.  Off the start, Nelson asks about racer Max Verstappen. DC says that he is focused on the current moment and notes that Verstappen has stated that everything that happens now is a bonus and winning already is extra since already he has accolades from previous tournaments. Additionally, DC said that the pressure is gone and that Max just wants to enjoy the journey that is his racing career. 

Following up, Nelson talks about Verstappen’s record and asks DC about his rise along with his rivalry with fellow racer Lewis Hamilton. DC talks about Verstappen coming from a racing family, where both his parents were involved with racing and that he competed against Verstappen’s father in the past. DC notes that the mistakes his dad made, Verstappen has ironed out and because of this, he’s been so successful as one of the youngest winners of the sport. DC notes because he is a product of a family racing program, it’s no surprise that he is well prepared and considered him one of the best in F1.

Looking ahead to upcoming races and transitioning to the Brazilian Grand Prix, Nelson asks DC about the pressure drivers have in particular Lewis Hamilton and what he faces for this specific race. DC says that Mercedes has made their car more competitive and the latest races have been close lately for Hamilton and his teammates. This needs to remain for them to have a chance to win. Nelson follows up with him asking about the US interest in Formula One and the reactions he gets when he comes to America. DC says America has woken up to F1, noting that “Drive To Survive” Netflix series has brought attention to the sport along with having events in major markets like Las Vegas, and Miami, which in turn add to the growth of the sport. It’s noted that 57 F1 drivers all-time are from the USA with racer Alex Rossi being the most recent. When asked about American drivers finding success in F1, DC says it accelerates following, talks about drivers from different nations are making them popular.

Reverting back to Coulthard’s own career, Nelson asked DC about the Formula 1 driver who challenged him the most during his career. DC responded by mentioning his teammates, who were strong competitors and with whom he had many intense battles. He specifically noted Michael Schumacher as a tough opponent, having won 7 titles while he was racing. “Michael Schumacher was quite the winning machine,” said DC. Nelson agreed that to be the best, you have to beat the best. Joining together then and now in Formula One, Nelson discussed  as the sport continues to gain traction,  the celebrity presence at Formula One races is notable. Nelson asked DC about his interactions with these celebrities and which ones have surprised him with their knowledge of Formula One.

DC talks about his experience coaching Tom Cruise in driving and noted that Cruise was receptive and had fast reflexes. He added that Cruise is very knowledgeable and performs well in his element. As the sport grows, DC discussed his advocacy for women in Formula One and his active participation in the W series. He mentioned that he provided guidance on the inclusion of women in the sport and assisted the W series in creating a platform for women to compete. He hoped to honor his late sister by serving as a role model for younger women to race at the highest level of F1. Additionally, he expressed his desire to continue to search for and support women competing in F1 racing. Despite many companies expressing interest in investing in the W series, DC noted that few actually follow through with their promises.

Looking at the sports continued impact, the conversation also covered Hamilton’s impact on societal matters, such as bringing awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement within the F1 community. DC discussed Hamilton’s openness about his struggles as a Black man in the sport and the importance of seeking help and inspiring others. When asked about a possible Hamilton retirement, DC says he has plenty of seasons left but questions whether he has the need to continue. He expressed his admiration for Hamilton and acknowledges that regardless of his own achievements, Hamilton will always be one of the top racers. 

The conversation also touched on misconceptions about racing events held in the Middle East. DC believes that people should visit these places themselves to gain their own experiences and that change comes from within. “Why don’t you go experience it yourself?” said DC speaking to people judging these countries. “I personally believe you affect change within yourself” noted DC. He emphasized the importance of respecting different cultures and being true to oneself while visiting these places.

Discussing event locations, Nelson and DC discussed the cancellation of the Formula One event in Russia and the solidarity of standing behind Ukraine. DC explained that they all agreed there was no reason to have the event after the illegal invasion, and he discussed the difference between differences of opinion with others and an act of war. The duo discussed the importance of unity amongst everyone. Nelson then asks about the controversial finish in Abu Dhabi and compared it to the Brazilian Grand Prix and other races. DC hadn’t seen anything like it before, where the Hamilton camp and the Verstappen camp believed that both deserved it but only one got the title. Coulthard understood why the Hamilton camp was upset at the outcome as he was the fastest racer in the tournament. DC also said that it was underwhelming that the race was being run by the safety car and there needs to be a better way to restart the race properly. He compared it to seeing a band play live and not playing their hits. 

Before the interview ended, Nelson asked DC if he had any advice for any young drivers for joining F1. DC offered advice to young drivers looking to make it in Formula One by saying to you have to be dedicated and disciplined. He noted that you have to work incredibly hard to be successful  along with being physically fit, mentally tough, and always striving to improve. He noted that anything is possible, emphasizing the importance of dedication, discipline, and hard work.

Before closing out the interview, Nelson asked DC about his MBE and what it meant to receive the honor. DC expressed his pride in receiving the honor, being knighted and meeting the late Queen. He described himself as a royalist and shared that he was fortunate enough to meet the Queen during the opening of a McLaren factory. To commemorate the moment he even has a photo of himself with the Queen on his work desk, which makes him very proud. DC was also able to bring his parents to Buckingham Palace, and he expressed his fondness and respect for the royal family.

You can follow DC on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube!

You can also listen to the full episode here

John Luke Chaparo