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'Red Bull need Coulthard's experience'

November 16, 2004 19:19 IST

David Coulthard's experience would be an asset for the new Red Bull team, former world champion Niki Lauda says.

The Austrian energy drink company, owned by billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, sealed the takeover of Ford's Jaguar team on Monday, deadline day for entries to the 2005 championship.

"He (Mateschitz) must sign up the right people so that the car is successful quickly," Lauda, also an Austrian, told Der Standard newspaper.

"David Coulthard is free and he would be a good solution because of his experience."

Coulthard, 33, does not have a drive next season after leaving McLaren.

The Scot, winner of more races than any current driver other than Ferrari's seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, was negotiating with Jaguar before Ford decided to sell the team although he has denied signing a contract.

Red Bull backed Austrian Formula One rookie Christian Klien at Jaguar in 2004 and has a strong interest in promoting young drivers.

But Lauda said: "It is not crucial whether a driver like Christian Klien sits in the cockpit.

"Mateschitz should give tests to youngsters but pick the fastest (drivers)."

Red Bull team principal Tony Purnell said: "Obviously Coulthard would be on your list but there is absolutely no decision yet taken on the question of drivers."

Klien, 21, said he was delighted and relieved by Jaguar's takeover by Red Bull, but was guarded about his own future.

"It's too early to make definite statements," he told the Austrian news agency APA. "My future was not, and is not, linked inextricably with the purchase of Jaguar by Red Bull."

Klien is due to test for the team in Barcelona on November 24. A team spokeswoman confirmed that 23-year-old Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi, a Red Bull junior driver who ran away with the Formula 3000 championship for the Arden team this year, would also test.

Liuzzi told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper on Tuesday that his hopes of a drive next year had been revived by the Red Bull takeover.

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