Dennis squashes Coulthard rumours

Dennis squashes Coulthard rumours

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has made it clear that, as far as he's concerned, David Coulthard will be racing with the team next season alongside Kimi Raikkonen. The rumour mill has persistently linked Juan Pablo Montoya with a move from Williams to ...

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has made it clear that, as far as he's concerned, David Coulthard will be racing with the team next season alongside Kimi Raikkonen. The rumour mill has persistently linked Juan Pablo Montoya with a move from Williams to McLaren as soon as 2004, but all concerned have denied the speculation.

David Coulthard.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
Dennis revealed that seven drivers are contracted to McLaren, currently and for the future, but the 2004 line up to race in F1 is set. "We have seven drivers contracted, most of which are contracted through the next three or four years, and I'm not going to list them," he told Autosport. "We have decided who's going to drive the cars in 2004 and that's all we are prepared to say at the moment."

Pushed to confirm that it will be Raikkonen and Coulthard, which was officially announced earlier this year, Dennis replied: "Absolutely. Crystal clear?"

2004 may be decided but 2005 is open to negotiation. Montoya and Coulthard's contracts with their respective teams expire at the end of next season -- Dennis said that while business dealings are respectful, there's nothing to stop people making friendly inquiries about drivers' availability.

In regard to negotiations with other teams, he said: "We do not have a line that says we can't offer people jobs, etc, if it is in the interests of each other's companies. What we do is always talk about it. We don't present each other with a fait accompli or surprises. People might find that hard to believe but it is a tremendous relationship built primarily on mutual respect."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams McLaren , Williams