Milton Keynes, Tuesday: Former F1 driver David Coulthard has achieved a lifetime ambition by breaking one of seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher’s records.
The German driver has more Grand Prix wins, pole positions, fastest laps and points of any driver, as well as holding numerous other accolades. But his announcement that he was going to return to the sport after three years of retirement, followed by his withdrawal from the European Grand Prix this week, means that he set yet another record for “shortest F1 comeback,” having been a returning Formula One driver for just 14 days, without having turned a wheel in a current F1 car.
On hearing the news of Schumacher’s withdrawal, Coulthard sensed an opportunity and addressed a hastily convened press conference this morning. “I am officially announcing my return to Formula One racing, by driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso in the European Grand Prix.”
Twenty minutes later – before any journalists had a chance to call STR headquarters at Faenza and verify the story – Coulthard called another press conference, declaring that he could no longer “be bothered” to return to F1, thereby breaking Schumacher’s record by almost two weeks.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Coulthard told reporters after the brief comeback. “Finally I can count myself as one of the true F1 greats, holding an actual world record never surpassed by any driver.” The Scotsman did not rule out a full-time return to F1 next season, insisting: “2010 will be my year.”
The shortest comeback on record is not an achievement that has previously made it into the annals of F1 history, but Coulthard is confident this will change. “I’ll be dropping it into every broadcast on the BBC for the next ten years,” he vowed, “and in the process surpassing Eddie Jordan and Jonathan Legard in the Annoying Stakes.”
Beating James Allen, however, was something even the confident Coulthard admitted was near impossible.