Red Bull eyes Coulthard

UPDATE #6 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. See Hot News item. 12/16/04 Red Bull Racing are expected to announce David Coulthard as their lead driver Friday. A report in The Independent (UK) newspaper said grand prix racing's newest team owner would let the news slip by issuing a press release some time on Friday. But the Milton-Keynes based outfit denied that an announcement – with Tonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien also in the frame – was necessarily imminent. ''We haven't decided on a (driver announcement) date,'' a press officer told us by telephone. 12/11/04 According to the Sun newspaper, "Scot David Coulthard has agreed terms to drive next season for Milton Keynes-based Red Bull Racing." The Daily Telegraph, though, reports that the two parties have yet to agree to a deal, although they are close. "Negotiations between Red Bull Racing and Coulthard are at an advanced stage with an official announcement expected next week," the newspaper said. Red Bull's owner Mateschitz says "There are two philosophies. Both have reasons to support them, both have reasons against," Mateschitz told Austrian newspaper Kleinen Zeitung. One philosophy is that we make a rookie team and we put in two youngsters. In terms of marketing that would be the best. We could have Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi – whoever. But then there is the other philosophy, which all teams pursue: a rookie with an experienced driver. For the moment it is easy to think about an experienced driver. It is probably also more intelligent because he can immediately develop the car for the 2006 season." 12/06/04 AutoRacing1.com sources tell us Coulthard has been offered a one year contract from Red Bull with an option for the second year, but he is holding out for two years. The offer is said to be high. 12/05/04 Autosport is reporting that Coulthard will have a seat fitting with Red Bull and will probably begin testing with them on Wednesday. 12/04/04 This rumor is close to going to 'fact' today. Britain's David Coulthard says "I'm going to be on the grid in Formula One and we just need to put everything in order before making the announcement," the 33-year-old Scot told Eurosport television when asked where he would be next year. The BBC had earlier quoted the Scot as saying at a charity 'Race of Champions' at the Stade de France in Paris that "I can't say today that I will drive for Red Bull Racing, but maybe in a few days I can say that. "Their position is that they are the team that's most likely because of the availability they have and the position they are in," added Coulthard. 12/02/04 Red Bull Racing owner Dietrich Mateschitz admitted that David Coulthard has a strong chance of driving for the Formula One new boys next year. It is now believed Red Bull will choose one young gun (Klien or Liuzzi) and one veteran. "I personally believe that he's one of the brightest characters in F1," Mateschitz told Autosport magazine on a visit to testing in Barcelona last week. "What our team needs now is experience, because it's difficult for us to have two rookies only. If we look at the drivers who are totally available, DC is on the very, very top because there are only two drivers who have proved to be both fast and experienced. Those are Nick Heidfeld and David Coulthard. I'm sure the team will talk to him and I believe that he's not only a good-looking driver but also a great racer."

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