JUNE 30, 2000

Coulthard signs new one-year deal at McLaren

BRITON DAVID COULTHARD has signed a new one-year deal to remain with McLaren Mercedes-Benz, the team announced on Friday.

The Scot, who finished quickest in opening free practice for Sunday's French Grand Prix, insisted that he was happy to sign the contract in order to concentrate on his championship challenge.

"It is excellent news for me and will allow me to get on with the job in hand," Coulthard said. "It ends any speculation regarding my future and is a big boost to my confidence."

McLaren chairman Ron Dennis backed Coulthard to continue the fine form he has showed this season and admitted it was the right time to announce the deal.

Dennis said: "We are very impressed with our drivers this year and we've took the unusual step of announcing David's new contract now to dispel all doubts over the future of our team line-up."