Ring Shows Race Star's Romance Has Moved Up a Gear; WITH A NEAT SWERVE,VICTORIOUS COULTHARD DODGES MARRIAGE QUESTION

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Byline: GERARD BURKE

HE was the fastest man on the circuit at Monza on Sunday. And yesterday David Coulthard was equally quick at denying speculation that he is about to get married.

The McLaren-Mercedes driver, fresh from his thrilling victory in the Italian Grand Prix, stepped off a jet at Glasgow airport accompanied by new love Heidi Wichlinski wearing a sparkling ring on her wedding finger.

The silver band seemed to indicate their relationship had moved up a gear, but Coulthard insists that he and Miss Wichlinski, who have been lovers for the last few months, have no plans to tie the knot.

'Is there a ring on her finger?' he replied to eager questioning from photographers. 'Oh well, Americans wear rings everywhere.' Many had expected the Formula One star from Twynholm in the Borders to marry former girlfriend Andrea Murray, who had been at his side since they met when he was a struggling Formula 3000 driver in 1991.

The couple seemed to have the perfect relationship until Coulthard announced to stunned friends after he took the chequered flag at the Australian Grand Prix earlier this year that their relationship was over.

Colleagues in the racing world were shocked by the split, especially when it was revealed he had dumped Miss Murray, 23, in a long distance telephone call.

Miss Murray, a Canadian born model, was devastated by the break-up and forthcoming revelations about Coulthard's passionate yearlong fling with a blonde air hostess. …