Coulthard: Al­ways rise above your fears

One can achieve great­ness af­ter that, says ex-racer

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - BY SIM LEOI LEOI leoi@thes­tar.com.my

PE­TAL­ING JAYA: David Coulthard knows all about liv­ing life in the fast lane.

As the win­ner of 13 For­mula 1 (F1) Grand Prix races, he also knows all about the dan­ger of rac­ing along the curves of the track at speeds of up to 300kph and the need to per­form un­der pres­sure.

How­ever, Coulthard, who calls his suc­cess on the podium an “un­likely story of one man’s jour­ney from a small vil­lage in Scot­land”, has cred­ited fear and pres­sure for fo­cus­ing his mind.

“Fear fo­cuses the mind. So, seek it out and see what you are ca­pa­ble of achiev­ing. When you’re chilled and re­laxed, you’re per­fectly placed to be com­pla­cent or have a sleep.

“But when you test your­self and do things that you per­haps feared, you find life in new ways and dis­cover what you are re­ally ca­pa­ble of,” he said in an in­ter­view.

Sim­i­larly, pres­sure, he pointed out, comes when peo­ple do not feel that they are do­ing their job to the best of their abil­ity.

“If you push your­self to do the best you can, the pres­sure from out­side is ir­rel­e­vant,” said Coulthard, whose one tenet in life is that noth­ing that is worth achiev­ing is ever sim­ple.

Coulthard, who hails from Twyn­holm, Kirkcud­bright­shire, in Western Scot­land where there is now a mu­seum ded­i­cated to him, his F1 cars and tro­phies, re­tired from rac­ing in 2008.

Dur­ing his 14-year ca­reer, he had nine sea­sons with the McLaren team – the sec­ond long­est in F1 his­tory – dur­ing which he won a dozen vic­to­ries, fin­ished on the podium 39 times and fin­ished sec­ond in the cham­pi­onships.

Asked about the se­cret to his suc­cess, he said: “I don’t think I have a se­cret but I do be­lieve that my de­ter­mi­na­tion to keep im­prov­ing helped me to achieve the re­sults I did.

“I also think for me, it’s im­por­tant to share that I never be­lieved that I de­liv­ered the per­fect per­for­mance.”

Now a sports com­men­ta­tor, con­sul­tant and an­a­lyst, Coulthard, who has been pre­par­ing for life af­ter rac­ing since his re­tire­ment, ad­mits that his far-sight­ed­ness has so far worked well for him.

“I be­lieve in look­ing ahead and plan­ning. I did that when driv­ing a rac­ing car at 300kph.

“So, in life, it’s equally im­por­tant to look for­ward, see what is ahead and make a plan.”

Even though the world of F1 has changed dra­mat­i­cally since the first cham­pi­onship in 1950 – thanks to high-tech aero­dy­nam­ics, elec­tron­ics, ma­te­ri­als and pad­dle gears – Coulthard still be­lieves that “good, old-fash­ioned hard work will win through.”

Coulthard will be shar­ing his in­sights into what it takes to suc­ceed in a highly com­pet­i­tive, high-stakes and high-speed en­vi­ron­ment at the Global Trans­for­ma­tion Fo­rum.

He joins other speak­ers such as Alibaba Group ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Jack Ma, Olympic cham­pion Usain Bolt, Vir­gin Group founder Sir Richard Bran­son and mo­ti­va­tional speaker Chris Gard­ner of The Pur­suit of Hap­py­ness fame.

More in­for­ma­tion can be found at

If you push your­self to do the best you can, the pres­sure from out­side is ir­rel­e­vant. David Coulthard

Good plan­ning: Af­ter rac­ing, Coulthard is now a suc­cess­ful sports com­men­ta­tor, con­sul­tant and an­a­lyst.

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