Monte Carlo, Friday: Ageing Scotsman David Coulthard has claimed that 2009 will be his year to finally win the Formula One world championship, dismissing the fact that he retired from the sport at the end of last year as “irrelevant.”

Coulthard first raced in F1 in 1994, and despite spending ten years in competitive Williams and McLaren machinery, was never able to claim the ultimate prize in Grand Prix racing. The lantern-jawed driver, however, told journalists at his Monaco hotel today that 2009 was going to be different.

Retired racer David Coulthard
Confident: Retired racer David Coulthard

“I feel very confident that this will be my year,” said David. “The fact that I don’t actually have a car to drive obviously makes this a bigger challenge than I have ever faced before, but certainly I have a lot of experience, which as everyone knows is clearly more important than actually being able to drive well.”

Coulthard is expected to spend the 2009 Formula One season working for the BBC, where he will pass hopefully informed comment on what is happening while someone else goes on to win the world championship. “Balancing my duties at the BBC with winning the world title is going to be difficult,” Coulthard confessed, “but I have what it takes to do it. I know I can.”

Critics of Coulthard’s overconfidence point to the history books, which show that every world champion so far has competed in at least one race in the season in which they won the title. The Scot is dismissive of such statistics, however: “Niki Lauda won the world title after retiring. So why can’t I?”

Coulthard’s replacement, four-month-old Sebastian Vettel, gurgled a little bit and then threw up on our reporter when asked to comment on the news.