Coulthard: Always rise above your fears
One can achieve greatness after that, says ex-racer
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.
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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.