Confirmation of a new deal at Shell V-Power Racing will allow Fabian Coulthard to focus on his racing having admitted that talk surrounding his future had been ‘niggling’ away in the background.
Coulthard’s future at the pace-setting Ford squad had been under scrutiny for much of the season with speculation linking Tickford Racing driver Chaz Mostert, who is also out of contract, to the seat.
Confirmation of an unchanged driver line-up at DJR Team Penske means it now appears that a move for Mostert to join Walkinshaw Andretti United is close, according to Speedcafe.com sources.
Coulthard has responded well to the talk on the track, racking up two wins and a further six podiums to sit second in the championship standings behind team-mate Scott McLaughlin.
Now his immediate future is settled, albeit the length of his extension unknown, the Kiwi is glad the speculation has been put to bed.
“It’s awesome,” Coulthard told Speedcafe.com.
“For me to put all this speculation of what was potentially going to happen to bed, I was pretty comfortable and confident within myself if I could do a good job and get the results.
“Team Penske as a whole rewards success so, for me, to get that put to bed is good and I can now just focus on the racing and the remainder of the year and into the future.
“No, it’s not (easy to cope with all the speculation), but people within our organisation know what’s going on.
“It is in the back of your mind but thankfully I put my helmet on and my focus is to go out there and win, so obviously it niggles away at you here and there but at the end of the day you just focus on the job at hand.
“I know what I needed to do as a driver and I think, obviously by the announcement, I’ve done enough.”
While the length of his new deal is unclear, Coulthard says he hopes to remain with the team for a few years to come.
“That’s my goal, a hundred percent,” he added.
“We’ll just continue to work hard, like we always do, and try and get a championship.”
When asked if the news of his extension is a weight of the shoulders, he added: “Yes and no.
“We always want to succeed and just the fact that my future’s secured doesn’t mean I can just sit on my hands and cruise because for me as a driver that’s not my style.
“We’ll keep pushing and try and beat the bloke next door (McLaughlin) but he’s top of his game so we’re going to continue to work hard and see how we go.”