David Coulthard gained 12 Formulation 1 world championship grands prix with McLaren and helped the Woking staff take the 1998 constructors’ title with the mighty MP4-13. However it’s the 1995 Williams FW17 that the Scot picks out as the most effective automotive of his illustrious profession.
Coulthard had made his F1 debut in troublesome circumstances, following the loss of life of Ayrton Senna and saddled with the tough FW16, as Williams struggled to adapt following the banning of the gizmos it had pioneered. Progress was made throughout 1994 and Adrian Newey’s FW17 for the next marketing campaign was a greater proposition.
“The 1994 automotive had its issues and had a good cockpit,” says the Scot. “The 1995 automotive was extra open and had a special really feel.
“We have been additionally making steps ahead with the Renault engine and the automotive advanced because the yr went on. It was aggressive however Michael Schumacher and Benetton have been sturdy.”
The FW17 was arguably the quickest automotive of 1995, Coulthard and team-mate Damon Hill taking 12 poles from 17 races. However Schumacher and Benetton usually outfoxed Williams within the races, and each drivers made essential errors.
“The automotive was actually properly balanced,” recollects the 51-year-old. “I had 5 poles and I wasn’t famed for my qualifying efficiency – that’s how good the automotive was!”
Regardless of his gaffe on the warm-up lap of the Italian GP, Coulthard additionally remembers the weekend for his domination of qualifying. He was quickest in each periods at Monza and ended up beating Schumacher to pole by 0.564 seconds. He was additionally 1.237s forward of Hill.
Coulthard relished driving the “properly balanced” FW17, which he took to 5 poles in 1995
Picture by: Sutton Pictures
A multi-car accident on the primary lap additionally gave him one other probability to win the race: “I jumped into the T-car that had been used within the Spa warm-up within the rain by Damon. I led the primary 13 laps when the front-left wheel bearing seized. But when I hadn’t spun my race automotive on the warm-up lap, I wouldn’t have been within the T-car with the rusty bearing…”
“Whenever you have been within the candy spot it was nice to drive. The vast observe, slick tyres, torquey V10 engine… It was at the start of aerodynamics changing into extra swoopy” David Coulthard
Coulthard’s first GP win lastly got here subsequent trip at Estoril, as he dominated the Portuguese GP from pole. His final begin for Williams ended with the notorious crash within the Adelaide pitlane, however Coulthard nonetheless has fond recollections of the FW17, which completed the season in B spec with revised suspension and aero, and a brand new gearbox.
“Whenever you have been within the candy spot it was nice to drive,” he provides. “The vast observe, slick tyres, torquey V10 engine… It was at the start of aerodynamics changing into extra swoopy and it was enjoyable to be a part of that.
“The 1998 McLaren at all times had understeer at low pace as a result of it was stiff to manage the aero. It was a compromised fast race automotive.
“Exterior of F1, it might be a kart. They have been simply sensible. All of the junior single-seaters I discovered actually weird. After I first drove a Formulation Ford and hit a kerb I assumed the wheel was going to half firm and head to the moon!”
Coulthard broke his duck at Estoril in 1995, changing pole place and likewise taking quickest lap
Picture by: Motorsport Images