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Coulthard on standby as Red Bull reserve

March 25, 2009 19:07 IST

Retired British driver David Coulthard is on standby for a Formula One comeback if either of Red Bull's drivers are unable to race in the first two Grands Prix of the season, the team said on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman said the 37-year-old Scot, in Melbourne as a pundit for BBC television, was their official reserve driver for Sunday's Australian season-opener and the following race in Malaysia.

New Zealander Brendon Hartley, a Red Bull junior driver, had been lined up for the role but the 19-year-old was unable to obtain the mandatory super-licence.

The team said nothing was confirmed after Malaysia.

Coulthard retired at the end of last season after a 246-race career that brought him 13 wins for Williams and McLaren over 15 seasons in the sport.

Red Bull's regular drivers are Australian Mark Webber, who broke his leg in a cycling accident in November, and Germany's Sebastian Vettel.

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