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Schumacher contract clause led to F1 star's STUNNING Ferrari rejection

Schumacher contract clause led to F1 star's STUNNING Ferrari rejection

Schumacher contract clause led to F1 star's STUNNING Ferrari rejection

Schumacher contract clause led to F1 star's STUNNING Ferrari rejection

David Coulthard has shared insights into a pivotal moment during his McLaren tenure when the allure of Ferrari beckoned - with Michael Schumacher proving to be a major stumbling block.

Recalling the encounter on his Formula For Success podcast, Coulthard disclosed discussions with then-Ferrari team boss Jean Todt. Despite McLaren's loyalty, Coulthard says he contemplated a move to the Italian team.

However, the contractual clause stipulating a defined number two role and the obligation to yield to Schumacher in the top four ultimately led him to stay true to McLaren.

This chapter unfolded amid Coulthard's successful stint with McLaren from 1996 to 2004, where he contributed to 13 grand prix wins and the 1998 constructors' championship triumph.

David Coulthard did not want to settle for playing second fiddle to Michael Schumacher at Ferrari
Ferrari stipulated that David Coulthard would have to move over for Michael Schumacher during races

Coulthard: I couldn't agree to Ferrari terms

During an engaging conversation with his podcast co-host and former F1 team boss Eddie Jordan, Coulthard was questioned about discussions with other teams while still driving for McLaren.

“I did," Coulthard said. "I met with Jean Todt in Paris in his apartment, to talk about the potential to drive for Ferrari.

“And my recollection of the contract offered was basically a number two contract, which, despite whatever anyone can now conclude about my career, at that time, I still felt that I wasn’t going to sign anything other than equal opportunity.

David Coulthard won 13 races while at McLaren between 1996 and 2004

“And so essentially, if I was running fourth and Michael was fifth, then I had to move over and all the way right up to if I was leading. And I just couldn’t agree to signing to that.

“And all credit to Ron [Dennis] and McLaren, the contract they offered me was always equal opportunity.

"And although there was a clause that said you had to accept the instructions of the team principal, in whatever circumstance it might be, largely speaking, I was given a fair and equal opportunity to crack on and try and see how good I could develop my skills.

“So that was the only team really I spoke to during my nine years at McLaren.”

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