Byline: RAY MATTS
DAVID COULTHARD underlined his Formula One priority after successfully pulling off his own Italian Job - the world crown, not gold bullion.
Victory at Monza was the 26-year-old Scot's second win of the season and last night he revealed what motivates his Grand Prix dream.
'The primary objective is to be in a car that can win races rather than the money,' he said.
Coulthard recently breathed a sigh of relief as the danger to his McLaren-Mercedes seat disappeared when Damon Hill turned down a [pounds sterling]1.3million retainer plus win-bonus offer from team boss Ron Dennis.
It was an incentive-related deal which the young and ambitious Coulthard was happy to accept, although it did not appeal in the slighest to reigning world champion Hill who, at 37, is in the twilight of his career and believes he has already proved his worth.
Hill will this week continue negotiations for a [pounds sterling]5m-plus pay cheque with Alain Prost Racing, who are desperate for his experience and expertise.
He is also monitoring developments at Jordan.
Coulthard, whose future is absolutely clear-cut, said: 'I don't want to become involved in saying whether Damon was right or wrong for not accepting the deal because I've no idea exactly what he was offered. We will never know if Damon has made a mistake. All I know is that I'm happy to still be with McLaren.
'I believe that I can win races and contribute to championship successes but in order to do that you have to have the right car. It is more important than having the money.
'I guess it depends where you are coming from. Maybe I could have earned more money in my career by being more aggressive in some ways. But you have got to be there and have the right seat to do the job.
'Money is always an issue but it depends how big an issue you make it. I feel very comfortable with what I'm being paid. Damon didn't like the deal he was offered.
'The question is: Do you want to win? Is the motivation money or winning?
'At the moment McLaren are one of
a number of teams who can win races and I reckon they'll get even better next season. They have the resources and money to do the job. …