Red Bull set to confirm Coulthard as new No 1

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The Independent Online

Red Bull Racing are expected to announce David Coulthard as their lead driver today, ensuring that Jenson Button has company on the grid in 2005 as the leading British racer.

Red Bull Racing are expected to announce David Coulthard as their lead driver today, ensuring that Jenson Button has company on the grid in 2005 as the leading British racer.

Coulthard, dropped by McLaren after nine years and 13 victories, tested for Red Bull in Spain last week and impressed the team with his calm and incisive approach.

Yesterday BMW and Honda dropped their opposition to the FIA's 2006 engine regulations, following secret talks with the FIA president, Max Mosley, last week in Monaco. Mosley was reportedly very aggressive while convincing the two auto manufacturers that stepping back from litigation was in their best interests. That leaves only Mercedes-Benz in opposition to Mosley's declared intention to cut engines from 3-litre V10s to 2.4-litre V8s.

BMW said their decision was reflective of the amount of time a legal challenge would take - "time in which all manufacturers would be forced to undertake costly parallel developments," and that arbitration would not be "in the interests of the sport, whose future we aim to strengthen. We want to contribute to a united position of the engine manufacturers in F1."

The British Racing Drivers' Club has formally taken back control of Silverstone as operator and promoter. The BRDC agreed with the American advertising company Interpublic to take back the lease of the circuit - and with it a £27m payment - earlier this year and yesterday Interpublic completed its withdrawal.

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