Coulthard in bullish mood about his new team's potential

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The Independent Online

David Coulthard is adamant that his days of Formula One victories are not behind him. The 34-year-old won 13 grands prix at Williams and McLaren before joining Red Bull last winter.

The new team's first season exceeded expectations and, with the designer Adrian Newey on board, they have renewed Coulthard's contract and confirmed his position as Red Bull's No 1.

"When I left McLaren it wasn't clear what my future was in terms of racing," said Coulthard, "but I showed this year I am motivated and scored more points for the team than anyone else. Of course I've won grands prix, so I can win again."

Coulthard is not surprised by Red Bull's ambition. "I think a lot of people had significant doubts as to where Red Bull would be with the late purchase but I think we have absolutely gained credibility. It's about trying to put in place the right people and have the right level of investment.

"It's not just buying a team and taking it to 19 venues each year, there has to be a clear investment, leading two or three years down the line into a new facility, new wind tunnels, those sort of things.

"It is a multi-year challenge to be at the front in Formula One. I've won all my grands prix in Adrian Newey-designed cars so I am delighted to have him on board. He felt it was time for a new challenge."

In Paris last night in the Race of Champions, Coulthard partnered Colin McRae for Great Britain, losing to the winners Scandinavia - Mattias Ekstrom and Tom Kristensen - in the semi-finals. In the individual event he was beaten by Kristensen in the first round. Kristensen reached the final, losing to the world rally champion, France's Sébastien Loeb.

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