“It is what it is – the autobiography” (David Coulthard 2007)

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You wait years for a decent driver autobiography to appear, then two come along at once.

Coulthard’s book hit the shelves a few weeks before Jackie Stewart’s “Winning is not enough.”

But while Stewart, who has dyslexia, painstakingly narrated a vast book that he admits would have worked better in two volumes, Coulthard handed the task over to ghostwriter Martin Roach. That’s hardly unusual for an active F1 driver though.

It’s odd that Coulthard has chosen this time in his career to put an autobiography about. Many times in the past few years he has fobbed off journalists asking the same old questions about when he will retire, always insisting that he intends to keep racing for much longer. So why put out an autobiography now?

I can’t answer that, but I can tell you it’s a decent book. The whole Coulthard story is here, with plenty of interesting background story on his path to F1 and stacks of amusing anecdotes that his most devoted followers will surely adore.

He has a few highly topical remarks to make on the equality of treatment he got at McLaren alongside Mika Hakkinen. Reading his remarks about getting equal technical treatment, but feeling he lacked the support of the top management, it almost begins to sound like what Fernando Alonso has been complaining about.

The content is generally really good, although I hoped for a little more on his feelings about the state of the sport, and some insight into the inner workings of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, where his intelligent mind has been put to good use.

The style is awkward, though – it really feels like a ghostwritten book, with the author reporting what happened in a rigid chronology.

As an autobiography it’s slightly disappointing – Coulthard’s character doesn’t come out in full colour – it feels dulled for coming at us second hand.

Perhaps he’ll take a second crack at writing an autobiography in the future – a proper one, penned from his own hand. With any luck, shortly after stepping down from what I expect would be a hughly successful tenure as president of the FIA…

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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One comment on ““It is what it is – the autobiography” (David Coulthard 2007)”

  1. I’ll be interested to see what he says about his time at Williams, particularly being back benched in favor of the infamous return of Mansell. I always felt he got a raw deal there. If the internet was available then in it’s current form I can only imagine the firefight that would have broken out on the blogsites.

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