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David Coulthard Column

David Coulthard wins the British Grand Prix in 1999
David Coulthard is not only C4F1's top TV analyst, he's also a two-time winner of the British Grand Prix and a fans' favourite at Silverstone. 

C4F1's Sarah Holt caught up with DC at the British Grand Prix to ask him a few questions about his home race and the topical subject of Ferrari re-signing Kimi Raikkonen in 2017.

Q: What's the best thing about being at your home race?

A: Staying at the British Racing Drivers' Club campsite and soaking up the Grand Prix the way that I did as a child. I've been coming to Silverstone for a long time. I used to come down camping with my Dad just to be part of the GP weekend. I remember driving my mother's road car around the perimeter roads when I was 11 or 12 years old.

Q: Who are your campsite neighbours this year?

A: My Mum and Dad are in their motorhome beside me. Paul di Resta is on the other side and Nigel Mansell is on the other side of my Mum and Dad. It's a cute little set-up.

Q: When you're travelling the world do you take any home comforts with you?

A: I do love a cup of tea. I used to always carry a little kettle but I've realised that the hotels I stay in nowadays are familiar with English breakfast tea and will deliver it to your room as a posh cup of tea.

Q: How does it feel to be the only driver in history to have won at Silverstone in two different millenniums? (Question from Ben Morris via Facebook)

A: I will hold that particularly honour for another 984 years. Is that right? I suspect F1 might no longer exist by the time someone beats the record. 

Q: What's your best Silverstone memory?

A: I've won here in 1999 and 2000 and it's an incredible experience to win at your home race but more than that it's the atmosphere about being here at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.  Arguably I enjoyed it more when I was a fan than when I was racing in Formula 1! There's a lot of pressure to perform when you're a racer and I remember feeling the expectations. 
I was never revered as a British driver in the same way that Nigel Mansell or Damon Hill was but you still carry the expectations of the British fans and you don' want to let them down. 

Q: Who do you think will win the British Grand Prix on Sunday?
(@IanRigsby1988 via Twitter)

A: I have nothing against the other drivers but I'd like it to be Lewis Hamilton as a British winner. He's the man most likely to and it would be good for the championship.

If he can't win it then it would be great if Jenson Button could have some freak weather conditions and was able to win, but I think that's a long-shot.  Maybe Kimi Raikkonen can win and show that he deserves to be re-signed this year. 

Q: What do you think about Ferrari keeping Raikkonen in 2017?

That is a very safe decision by Ferrari and safe decisions don't historically win in F1 - you've got to be brave and take brave decisions.

Q: What's your opinion on the state of play in F1 in 2016?

A: It's been great. A lot of people were, for the wrong reasons, complaining about the competitive nature of F1. We know that although Mercedes have done a great job on the car they had a sizeable engine advantage which neutralised everything else in 2014 and 2015. But this year we've had a very competitive season. 

There are now regulation changes coming in 2017 which fundamentally changes F1 again with a different width of tyres, a different width of cars. It puts a big expense to all the teams - but it's huge for the smaller teams. I think it might be an over-reaction to what happened last year. 

Q: Do you think there will be any Mercedes fall-out in Silverstone?

A: Despite the public statement, I'm sure the two Mercedes driver have had very clear instructions as to what the rules of engagement are, for example 'you're not allowed to pass on the last lap', or something like that. 

The race came alive in Austria because of what happened on the last lap. We had a natural born racer who went for a gap and made an opportunity happen. It would be a shame to be denied those moments in the future.

Q: Finally, what's your favourite British phrase?

A: I have a fondness for the word 'Aye' in response to 'how are you, good morning, hello, how are you?' It's a sweep-all word.