Who will replace DC??

Billy SextonAnalyst IJuly 5, 2008

David Coulthard announced his retirement from F1 on Thursday earlier this week and the Scot will stop racing in F1 after the last round in Brazil later this year.

Many are looking back on DC's career. In his first season in the sport, Coulthard scored 14 points, including a podium finish at the Portuguese Grand Prix. He continued racing for Williams in his first FULL season and finished third in the championship and also scored his first win.

David then went on to race for McLaren. He won 12 more races with them and his best position in the World Drivers Championship was second to the great Michael Shumacher, which is certainly nothing to be ashamed of!

After reaching his peak at McLaren, Coulthard joined the newly formed Red Bull Racing in 2005. He has scored some decent points for the team and achieved two podium finishes, including one at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.

After a outstanding career, Coulthard will carry on as a consultant for Red Bull and there are rumours he could commentate for the BBC in 2009.

But one question remains... who will replace DC at Red Bull in 2009?

The logical choice seems to be young Sebastien Vettel. The German is driving for sister team, Scuderia Toro Rosso and, at the moment, punching well above his weight.

His fourth place finish at Shanghai last year has been his best finish in F1, but he has also scored points in 2008 with points finishes at Monaco and Montréal.

Many say he is destined for greatness and if he were in a faster car such as a Red Bull Renault, who knows what he could achieve.

Another choice would be double world champion Fernando Alonso. After a testing time at McLaren Mercedes in 2007 the Spaniard returned to the team that he won his two world championships with: Renualt.

However, Alonso is struggling to get onto the podium which is where he would want to be at present. Although the Renault has had some good qualifying results including a front row at the Spanish Grand Prix, the best Alonso has done this season is a fourth place in Australia and has only scored a lowly ten points.

The escape clause in Alonso's contract means that he can leave the French team after one season should he wish to do so. Could this be Red Bull's chance to challenge the top three? A double world champion, who can get the most out of a car, could really push the team forward.

But if Alonso did get the seat over Vettel, how long would it be before he joins Ferrari, should an opportunity arise?

So who will it be? Vettel? Alonso? Someone else perhaps... maybe a rookie will partner the experienced Mark Webber.


Many thanks to Ben Auty for the photograph.