Canadian Grand Prix: Saturday News Round-Up

DC MBE; Mansell out of Le Mans; Alonso welcomes Ferrari’s Massa move; Kubica in no rush to decide future

David Coulthard has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The Scot won a total of thirteen Grands Prix in a career which spanned fifteen years. Coulthard made his debut for Williams at the Spanish Grand Prix in 1994, following the death of Ayrton Senna. The 39-year-old would share the Number 2 car with Nigel Mansell for the remainder of the year, before the Grove-based team granted him his first full season in 1995.

From 1996 until the end of 2004, Coulthard joined McLaren – forming a formidable partnership with Mika Hakkinen and then Kimi Raikkonen.

Thereafter, he would play a pivotal role in the development of Red Bull Racing, as a driver from 2005 until 2008 and subsequently as a consultant.

Since retiring, Coulthard has become a key part of the BBC’s Formula One coverage, and entered this season’s DTM series.

In other news, Nigel Mansell’s outing in the Le Mans race came to an abrupt end after only four laps, after his Beachdean Zytek car suffered a left rear puncture on the run up to the famous Indianapolis corner.

Mansell had started the race strongly, getting ahead of Jonny Kane in the leading Strakka LMP2 car. 

Although the 1992 Formula One World Champion was attended to by an ambulance at the scene of the accident, it is not thought that he had sustained any serious injuries.

The 78th running of the Le Mans 24 hour race features a whole host of ex-F1 drivers, battling throughout the different classes. These include Anthony Davidson, Marc Gene, Allan McNish, Jean Alesi, Giancarlo Fisichella and David Brabham.

Meanwhile Fernando Alonso has applauded Ferrari’s decision to retain Felipe Massa.

The Spaniard, who has an option on his contract to remain with the Scuderia until 2013, will now remain partnered by Massa for a further two years.

“I think it is good news for us, good news for the team,” Alonso is quoted as saying by Autosport.

“Felipe has been many years in Ferrari now, he knows the team very well. I arrived new five months ago in the team, so to change driver again next year would provide some difficulties for the team.

“It is much better to have this continuity and I think Felipe and me, we are working together really well. We have been doing the maximum for the Ferrari team and this pays off for Felipe now.”

Ferrari’s announcement appears to signal that Robert Kubica will remain at Renault. However, speaking in Canada, the Polish driver admitted that he was in no rush to confirm his future plans.

“I don’t know about the situation at other top teams,” said Kubica in Canada. “I heard Ferrari signed with Felipe, I heard Red Bull signed with [Mark] Webber but, to be honest, I am not thinking about next year.

“At some point I will have to make a decision about the future and then I will make it, but I am too busy thinking about the current situation and races.”

More to follow…