Coulthard hits back at Kravitz

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First Luca di Montezemolo vs Bernie Ecclestone, now it?s Ted Kravitz (ITV?s pit lane reporter) vs David Coulthard.

Kravitz had a few sharp words to say about Coulthard?s performance in the Singapore Grand Prix:

It seems pointless to criticise a man who?s only got three more races to go in his F1 career, but since he may well be dishing plenty of criticism out to others next year, I?ll start now: he was mediocre in Singapore.

David was handed a gilt-edged opportunity by his team, who made the right call when Piquet crashed. [??] When the safety car came in, he was looking good – running right behind Alonso and Webber, yet he finished the race behind Rosberg (with a 10 second stop & go), Hamilton, Glock, Vettel and Heidfeld.

David will argue that he lost time on his in-lap due to Alonso coming out of the pits and blocking him on lap 42. But he lost four seconds. A good in-lap was 1m50s, a decent one 1m52s, David?s was 1m56s. Could he not have overtaken the Renault?

And he?ll point to the three or four seconds lost in the pit stop (through no fault of his own), but David finished 16 seconds behind and could only manage the 13th quickest lap.

I don?t mean to sound picky, but it just seems that David is a shadow of the driver he was this time last year.

Coulthard?s response came a few days later and, to be fair, it was not entirely surprising given Kravitz?s column ended ??Luckily, [Coulthard]?s a fellow columnist on this website, so check back in a few days and you might find out!??

But the length of Coulthard?s response ?ǣ over 1,100 words! – and the cutting nature of some of his remarks suggest Kravitz may have touched a nerve. Here?s a snippet of Coulthard?s indignant reaction:

However my fellow columnist Ted Kravitz ?ǣ who I think I may have met in the Formula 1 paddock at some point, although I?d have to check ?ǣ has thrown down the gauntlet by suggesting that my performance was ??mediocre?? and that I?m now in retirement mode.

Having now had the opportunity to read Ted?s column, I?m afraid there are several inaccuracies that I need to correct to give a true picture of how my race unfolded.

First off, he criticises my slow in-lap before my second pit stop and asks why I was unable to overtake Fernando Alonso, who had just emerged from the pits.

Well, Lewis Hamilton ?ǣ in one of the fastest cars out there ?ǣ couldn?t pass me for more than 20 laps, so why would I be able to pass Alonso, who went on to win the grand prix?

If Lewis is as good as we all think he is, why did he spend more than 20 laps behind me?

Could he not have overtaken a driver in the twilight of his career if it was as easy as Ted imagines? How many people have you, Ted Kravitz, overtaken?


I?m entirely comfortable being in the category of has-been because the other options are to be a wannabe or a never-has-been.

Read Coulthard?s full reaction here, and share your thoughts below on whether this is a proper row or just ITV trying to whip up some interest in their columns.

Coulthard, of course, is tipped to be part of BBC’s F1 coverage in 2009, but Kravitz is not…

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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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  • 27 comments on “Coulthard hits back at Kravitz”

    1. i think it may well be just ITV trying to stir up some publicity

      btw Keith are you planning on doing anything on ITVs 10 year coverage or wateva it is, seeing as they only have 3 raes left to cover!

    2. Fair play to David for sticking up for himself – even if it does get a bit bitchy at times!

    3. Whatever the reasons, though, DC – you got a huge break with the safety car and failed to turn it into the potential big result it was. I think Kravitz has a point that it’s just as well DC’s driving career is winding down. Not necessarily through lack of trying, but he’s been woeful this year.

    4. Down girls, handbags at dawn.

    5. Keith,

      Off topic, but what do you understood about this:

      It was further unanimously agreed to allow Formula One teams to equalise engine performance across the field for 2009, pending the introduction of cost-saving measures from 2010…

      “Equalise engine performance” means that the teams will be free to develop their engine power through the year or that they will equalize all teams engine power (something impossible, I guess)?

      This statement is very dubious…

    6. Becken – I’m thinking through that at the moment actually, working on a piece on it for tomorrow…

    7. Keith,

      Ok! My guess is that this FIA´s decision has a huge impact on Alonso´s choices. He was just waiting this meeting to announce that he will stay at Renault. I think he will announce that son, maybe in Fuji!

    8. I’m a bit confused about the closing statement attributed to David there- Has-been is better than wannabe or never-has-been.

      Now, at the risk of getting a similar verbal assault from DC fans as he gave to TK, you never really set the world on fire there did you David?
      At one point DC looked like he might have a championship in him, but it just kind of evaporated. I know people will try to say he was racing against RD’s favourite at the time (of his best opportunity), but he just isn’t a has-been champion. And his performances have definately tailed off, which given his car wrestling performances of the last few seasons, is quite a feat.

      I think Lewis probably didn’t want to commit to a move as David doesn’t seem to see anything until it’s too late!

      Hope he’s a good commentator nevertheless.

    9. I have to say I dislike DC when he does this. A small put down (Bernie Clown-Style) would have sufficed, not this bitter rant. Kravitz’s comments deserved a come-back fo sure, but it should be done on the track in his remaining races.

    10. Come on, that’s just classic Coulthard. Many of us will miss him when he’s gone :)
      I agree he’s had a “mildly successful career”.
      Opportunities more lost than won? I remember seeing him in FF1600 & F3 back in the day and he was awesome.Which never seemed to translate cleanly into F1.

      Although Coulthard appears forever stifled by formality he nonetheless remains as one of F1’s more colourful characters.
      I sincerely hope he has a go at commentating!

    11. michael counsell
      8th October 2008, 0:16

      Coulthard actually did well be this years standards by not crashing into Hamilton. Massa, Button, Glock, Vettel, Nakajima (maybe more) weren’t so lucky…

      Does he hold the record for most collisions with another car in Formula One history?

    12. If Lewis is as good as we all think he is

      Inadvertent jib at Lewis?

      in my opinion mildly successful career

      Scottish sarcasm :D

      Many people don’t like this side of Coulthard, but I think it’s about the only redeeming thing about him – he speaks his mind. I never did like him much as a driver, always thought there would be someone much hungrier begging for the spot he’s in. But he’s certainly a good laugh – and it doesn’t even matter if I agree with him or not.

      He does have a good point though, it’s very easy for someone to say something, or for all of us to argue about something when we’ve not come close to what the driver experiences and goes through in that situation.

      Look at the number of times we’ve all been up in arms – Lewis Hamilton at Spa for instance – easy to say what he did was right/wrong or say he’s immature and could’ve waited another corner (yes, I said this as well)….but none of us are really qualified in our arguments given if we were in that car we’d probably end up as cabbages.

    13. Many people don’t like this side of Coulthard, but I think it’s about the only redeeming thing about him – he speaks his mind.

      Actually, all this ‘speaking his mind’ business only happened after he left McLaren, which was in the later part of his career. Before then, we usually criticized him for doing PR talk. Sure, he had his moments like France 2000, but otherwise, this vocal version of DC came very late in his career.

    14. From the other point of view, just what is Ted’s background? Has he ever been in a racing car? He knows lots of facts and figures, but comes across as a real nerd on race days. As opposed to Keith who is always balanced and user-friendly!
      ITV have Ted fronting the BTCC show as well, and he looks so uncomfortable talking to the drivers!

    15. schumi the greatest
      8th October 2008, 8:42

      I kno its everyone’s entitled to their opinions but it was abit of a stinging attack on dc.

      I agree with a few other people in this thread, it did look like he could challenge for a championship, but dc missed a couple of vital things that seperate championship winners and multiple winners. he never had alot of pace in qualifying, the ability to, pull out a really quick time when his car wasnt up to it and he just wasnt aggressive enough bar the odd exception (france 2000)

      still though a good career

    16. the whole year DC has is a write-off … true, hard to admit it, but it shows. Kravitz should have found better arguments though. He just gave his “fellow” columnist an easy escape route.

    17. Another reason BBC should keep Kravitz. DC is having a laugh if he thinks hes a has been, he couldnt even beat Damon in a Williams. As for criticising Kravitz for not being a driver, well if a guy who’s raced in F1 for 15 years and owns a hotel in Monaco feels the need to get catty about a guy in a jumpsuit who calls the pitstops then hes a very little man indeed. Ta da David, latest in a long line of undwerwhelming Brits

    18. I’ve not checked the stats but I reckon Coulthard has probably partnered more championship winning drivers than anyone.

      Throughout his career he’s had some of the best cars on the track available to him and has consistently failed to win a championship while many of his team mates have won.

      He doesn’t even have the Schumacher excuse that Rubens/Irvine had as Williams & McLaren normally give both drivers the chance of winning.

      Lots of points but you can’t show them to the grandkids.

    19. I liked the snippet about Hamilton, and Coulthard does share his opinion openly, but I have this to say. If I was driving that McLaren, and had Coulthard ahead of me, I would have been cautious too.
      Coulthard has been involved in so many crashes this season alone, colliding with Massa, Vettel, Barrichello, Button, Nakajima, and so on. He then gets upset when he is criticised, I would think that would be obvious. Coulthard is a great driver, but his boat sailed along time ago when he was at McLaren alongside Hakkinen.
      Those years were his best opportunity to become champion. From 2004 onwards, he has been drumming along in the midfield, causing the odd shunt whilst attempting overtaking that were never going to work.
      This also comes, from a man who claimed that Hamilton would struggle last year adapting to Formula One.
      I may not live in England, so I have not seen the pro Hamilton camp in all their glory, so maybe this has affected Coulthard. However, I think it would have been prudent of him to have retired say two or three years ago rather than face years as an alsoran.
      Better to burn out than fade away, as the song goes…

    20. Ted:
      “Could he not have overtaken the Renault?”

      Was he being serious? Does Ted Kravitz know anything about F1 or is he just a plain moron?

      “The public relies on so-called expert opinions, but very often the opinion-formers are people who don’t have any direct experience of what they are talking about.”

      Lovely work, David. It is hard to believe how ITV would hire a pathetic idiot such as Ted Kravitz. Then again, James Allen is the commentator, so at least they’re being consistent.

      Oh, by the way, David also notices ITV’s bias for Lewis Hamilton. Well done.

    21. I’m with you, Senor Paz.

      Whilst DC may not have seemingly taken his opportunities for Championships, he’s still won 13 races and accumulated the most points of any British driver. This is obviously through longevity, but that says enough in my opinion. Men wise enough, and certainly more knowledgeable than us have kept him in decent-to-great F1 cars for 15 seasons, regardless of the circumstances that saw him get his break.

      Beneboy – You’re joking about McLaren giving equal opportunities to their drivers, right?

      the limit –

      However, I think it would have been prudent of him to have retired say two or three years ago rather than face years as an alsoran.

      Why would DC care if he retired then or now? Why, because he gets to drive Formula One cars for his day job! Why stop if the team says go?!

      Antonyob –

      Another reason BBC should keep Kravitz. DC is having a laugh if he thinks hes a has been, he couldnt even beat Damon in a Williams.

      Funny, when was that? Was that at the start of DC’s career?

      I think any driver that comes anywhere close to an experienced team-mate in his first (even second) season is doing ok, especially with no TC, LC or any other rubbish. DC started when it still took real balls to drive an F1 car really fast. Hill nearly won the Championship (arguably should have) in 1994. Don’t forget that he was replacing Senna, too. How’s that for pressure?!

      More than half of the Championship contenders would’ve ended up in hospital this year if they drove as badly when DC started. Maybe they take more risks nowadays because of the safety standard increase, but who knows….

      How do you think Hamilton would have fared in the same circumstances, especially noting his no-TC mistakes this season? Probably better is my guess, but neither I, nor (pointedly) you, would know any better.

      ….well if a guy who’s raced in F1 for 15 years and owns a hotel in Monaco feels the need to get catty about a guy in a jumpsuit who calls the pitstops then hes a very little man indeed.

      I don’t see the relevance of Hotel ownership in this. Should they sack Trulli because he owns a vineyard?

      I think the little man here is Ted Kravitz. He’s taken a poor, and frankly amateur, potshot at DC the driver – or is it DC, the guy who’s effectively taking Ted’s job – sans fake pit overalls?

    22. Why would DC care if he retired then or now? Why, because he gets to drive Formula One cars for his day job!

      Damn right!

      I don’t see the relevance of Hotel ownership in this. Should they sack Trulli because he owns a vineyard?

      I think it should be compulsory for F1 drivers to own vineyards, just to play to the stereotypes NASCAR fans have about F1…

    23. haaha toby. what are you DC’s mum?

      IF DC was “the man” hed have come into Williams as the young hot shot and given his no 1 team mate somthing to think about. As Prost did to Lauda, Miki to Senna, Lewis to Alonso etc, he didnt and whatever his mum says the vast majority will rate him as middling, at best. You’re entitled to your view however few agree with you. As for the hotel, it means, twaddle brain, – hes surely above petty potshots, something, you it would seem are not. Now you run along and start making DC’s packed lunch or he’ll be all cross again.

    24. oh yeh real balls. i remember DC saying he loved all the electronic aids as it meant he could floor the throttle mid corner and the computer would allow him to go the maximum speed possible. thats not balls, its ******.

      DC didnt drive in the age drivers got killed. dont quote me senna nd ratzenberger, they were the exception. just check out the 60’s and 70’s if you want to see drivers with balls.

    25. Antonyob – I think it’s utterly heartless to describe two deaths in such flippant terms in an attempt to prove some obscure point about Coulthard’s bravery. A man who, incidentally, survived an aircraft crash in which two people were killed in 2000, and raced to the podium the following weekend despite still having broken ribs and other injuries from the crash.

    26. eh? what was i supposed to do Keith? lay a wreath? thats a cheap card to pull on me to be frank. I was highly upset when Senna died, i dont need to continue that for the whole of my life. The point i was making is perfectly valid, how brave do you need to be in the modern era, nowhere near as brave as before the 1990’s is the answer. Its not obscure, its part of the very fabric of F1, and F1 wouldnt exist today if it hadnt changed- as the sport changed so did the type of driver who could flourish.

    27. DC could have replied on Kravitz’ comments “he just does not understand”. enough said.

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