The End of an Era: David Coulthard to retire?

Now campaigning his 15th consecutive season at 37 years old, David Coulthard is Formula One's elder statesman. His 236 grands prix contested to date is second only to Rubens Barrichello's 261, and the Scotsman has elevated his suffering of the latest batch of rookies each season to an art form. But that may be winding to a close, as DC looks into the future.

With rumors of Red Bull promoting its young driver Sebastian Vettel out of the Toro Rosso junior team and into Coulthard's seat, the veteran driver is admitting it might be time to hang up the helmet and move on. And what does he think of the proposition? "Boo hoo.... There are a lot of worse things that can happen to you. You just move on to the next challenge."

The next obvious question is what the next challenge will be for the perennial fixture of the F1 grid. He's already discounted the notion of moving to another team. Rumors suggest he could move into a management role in the Red Bull team he helped establish. Others suggest he could buy out Toro Rosso with the cash he's liquidating from the sale of his five-star Columbus hotel in Monaco (realizing what was previously just a joke). A third possibility pegs him as a commentator for BBC's Formula One coverage. What he's committed to avoid, however, is following his longtime friend Jacques Villeneuve in pursuit of a NASCAR seat, or reverting to any other racing series for that matter. "After F1, everything else is a step down."

[Sources: autosport and F1-Live; photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images for Puma]

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