Hartley loses third driver role to Coulthard

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Red Bull will not be able to use Brendon Hartley as a reserve driver this year after the young New Zealander failed to acquire a super licence in time.

David Coulthard, who retired from F1 last year, will instead take the role of Red Bull’s third driver and will return to the cockpit if Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Sebastien Bourdais or Sebastien Buemi are unable to race.

Red Bull is expected to re-appoint Hartley to the reserve driver role once the opening rounds of the season are complete.

Coulthard is working for the BBC as a pundit this year, so he will already be present at all the races.

Read more: Brendon Hartley gets dual F1 test role

16 comments on “Hartley loses third driver role to Coulthard”

  1. This is pretty interesting. Say Webber’s recuperation isn’t satisfactory, or possibly Bourdais/Buemi aren’t up to scratch, would we be seeing the return of good old DC? Possibly eh?

    It would be nice to DC in a car on the pace again…but I guess thats just a long shot.

  2. I assume the reason Hartley failed to get his Super Licence wasn’t due to lack of F1 mileage because he isn’t going to be getting anymore anytime soon with the testing ban.

    Does anyone know if Coulthard has even driven the new Red Bull, because in the unlikely event he is needed he would have no experience in the car. Still it would be nice to see him racing again.

  3. Would be good to see Couthard unexpectantly called up one last time. Might be able to end his career on a higher note.

  4. I’ve always thought it made more sense to have recently retired drivers as third and test drivers, rather than use new inexperienced, aspiring GP drivers.
    The ‘retirees’ have much more knowledge of the testing and development, cars, tracks and environment of racing and would be able to fill in a vacant seat very quickly.
    Sorry for Hartley, but his time will come

  5. I’m surprised that DC would be allowed to do such a thing while under contract to the BBC. If he has to go racing at short notice it won’t be very good for them.
    However, thinking on my feet, maybe this gives the BBC and edge over ITV by having a tame driver on the team, instead of old ex-drivers…..
    Is DC The Stig??

    1. Yes. He must be!

  6. oh god getting DC back will be an expensive exercise. wonder what his car repair bill was last year?

    1. To be fair, most of the crashes weren’t his fault – in fact, his three crashes in his give last races were all caused by other drivers.

  7. Robert McKay
    25th March 2009, 15:01

    I’m surprised that DC would be allowed to do such a thing while under contract to the BBC. If he has to go racing at short notice it won’t be very good for them.
    However, thinking on my feet, maybe this gives the BBC and edge over ITV by having a tame driver on the team, instead of old ex-drivers…..
    Is DC The Stig??

    They’ve also got Davidson who is reserve driver for Brawn GP apparently…

    I’m guessing their mostly white car might translate into a very Stig-like racing overall :-D

  8. I’m surprised that DC would be allowed to do such a thing while under contract to the BBC. If he has to go racing at short notice it won’t be very good for them.

    Don’t I remember Martin Brundle disappearing from the commentary team for a race or two, while he replaced an injured driver? Or maybe that was just for his Le Mans job one year.

    1. Yeah I think he did when he was driving the Bentley – didn’t he miss the Canadian round? And he used to regularly avoid the Hungaroring, I wonder if he will npw he’s at the BBC?

  9. Aaron Shearer
    25th March 2009, 22:40

    I would love to see Coulthard back in the car for one last time. It’s such a shame the way his career ended in 2008. If he could end it ‘Properly’ on a higher note, it would be brilliant.

    I don’t think Coulthard has driving the RB5 before. I’m sure he’ll get used to it after a few laps, as he’s previously driving cars with slicks etc. Anyway there are always Practice sessions for mastering the car.

    Good luck to Hartely also. I’m sure he’ll acquire his super license shortly. If not will Coulthard stay for the whole year?

    1. Definitely – after all the build-up to his last race it was a huge pity to see him go out so early.

  10. Gutted :( I was really looking forward to seeing a local boy back in F1. Oh well, good luck next year Brendan.

    1. I think you’ve misunderstood it. Hartley will be driving after the first few round if his super license is granted.

  11. How cool would an in car commentary during the race be? Never been done before, AFIK, though Ive seen drivers interviewed while driving tintops at places like Daytona and Bathurst.

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