David Coulthard has revealed the details of a feisty argument he once had with Nico Rosberg in an airport. The former Red Bull driver also recounted how reigning world champion Max Verstappen was present, but was forced to stand and watch from the sidelines as tempers flared.
Coulthard and Rosberg have a storied history after the former Williams and Mercedes driver took the Scot out on the opening lap of his final-ever F1 at the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix. His retirement was eventually overshadowed that day by Lewis Hamilton’s dramatic maiden title, claimed following a final-lap downpour that washed away Felipe Massa’s hopes.
However, the incident in question happened much later on after both men had retired from F1. The pair regularly complete punditry work with Rosberg a regular fixture on Sky Sports’ coverage and Coulthard helping out former team Red Bull with their in-house content production.
Discussing the clash on his Formula For Success podcast with Eddie Jordan, Coulthard explained: “I think Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz was going from Dubai to Madrid, Max, myself and I forget who else, but it was a group of us all flying back after the race.
“And we get to Nice and as we’re just waiting for our baggage, Nico said to me, ‘Hey DC, by the way, remember, everything we’ve discussed is off the record’. And it touched a nerve. He obviously thought that as a current driver, I was some kind of tabloid journalist and I was sneaking away all these stories we’ve been sharing.
“Anyway, it touched a nerve and my neck changed colour and I flipped my chips is the expression we would have. And Max was recalling the fact that everyone just stood there in silence as I go off on one at Nico, and he’s going, ‘Well, I don’t understand’ and I’m like, ‘Well that’s the problem, Nico, you don’t understand!’”
Rosberg now finds a wealth of his time taken up by his own motorsport ventures outside of the world of F1. The 2016 world champion started his own team in the electric rally racing series Extreme E ahead of its inaugural season in 2021 the Rosberg X Racing team clinching two of the first three championship titles.
“Extreme E is my kind of start as a team boss and owner, it’s been a very successful first three-year journey,” he told City A.M. “My problem is that I’m not ready to dedicate my life to a project like that ever again, as I did as a racing driver, because I appreciate my time at home too much – time with my kids and my wife and my family.”