David Coulthard's Formula One 2019 Talking Points

David Coulthard won 13 Formula One races and had 62 podiums during his career
David Coulthard won 13 Formula One races and had 62 podiums during his career

The 2019 Formula One season is coming up quickly with everyone gunning to end Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes' dominance.

Ahead of the new season, 13-time Formula One race winner and Channel 4's David Coulthard has been casting his key over the main talking points and changes.

On the new regulations...

This season, the front and back wings have been simplified. The front wings are 200mm wider and 20mm higher, while the rear wings are 100mm wider and 20mm higher.

There is also an extra five kilograms of fuel available, so a driver can push harder and for longer during a race, while the maximum weight limit has increased to 80kg to help the taller drivers. These changes have been put in place to spice up the racing, but it remains to be seen whether they will have the desired effect.

On Hamilton...

Lewis Hamilton has found his happy place. He disappeared over the winter to rediscover the energy he requires to compete for a sixth world championship, and move to within one triumph of Michael Schumacher's record. You can become fed up if you have too much of anything, even if it is your great passion, so it is crucial for any top-level sportsperson to recharge their batteries.

There is no question that Hamilton is an exceptional talent, and he must be recognised as an iconic and successful British racing driver. We should celebrate that more than we do.

On Vettel...

The sport is set for another titanic battle between Ferrari and Mercedes this season, and that means Sebastian Vettel going head-to-head with Hamilton. Ferrari could have won both world championships last year, but they didn't manage their star driver as well as they could have done. Kimi Raikkonen became too involved, and that affected Vettel.

If you feel like one pupil is getting favourable treatment at school, or one family member is the chosen child, it niggles away at you. Hamilton had a better support system around him at Mercedes, and Ferrari - under new management this year with Mattia Binotto replacing Maurizio Arrivabene - should be aware of that.

On Leclerc...

Vettel has been joined at Ferrari by emerging star, Charles Leclerc, and it will be a big year for the 21-year-old. Leclerc will get his first podium, he will win his first grand prix, and he could challenge for the championship, too.

In practice and qualifying, Ferrari will allow Vettel and Leclerc to unleash their best performances. On some occasions, Vettel will be ahead, and on others, Leclerc will be in the ascendancy because he is a quality driver. But, thereafter, they should put into play a support system to favour Vettel because that is their best bet to stop Hamilton.

That said, if Leclerc ends up getting the better of Vettel, and it makes no sense for Ferrari to intervene, then they shouldn't. Like the rise of any young star, and the fall of a great, this could be that transitional phase at Ferrari, and that's why this season promises to be so exciting.

On the British rookies...

I love seeing young talent arriving on the grid, and, as a British audience, we are well served this season. In Lando Norris at McLaren, and George Russell for Williams, we have two drivers who are in F1 on merit, through their sheer speed and skillset.

McLaren and Williams have signed two great, young talents who will get an opportunity for a long and successful career, and given the recent demise of both British outfits, hopefully the young duo can bring their teams along, too.


Channel 4 will broadcast highlights of all F1 races plus live coverage of the British Grand Prix. All races will be live on Sky F1.

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