David Coulthard has defended Top Gear over criticism of its recent Cenotaph stunt, saying that it was performed by "two Americans who wouldn't be as sensitive" to the monument's significance.

The former F1 driver recently revealed himself to have been lined up for a presenting gig on the BBC motoring show, but he turned it down to present Channel 4's Grand Prix coverage.

Speaking at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards, Coulthard, who is nominated for the sports presenter award, said he had been in a position where he had not understood tradition plenty of times himself as a resident of Monaco and supported Top Gear's reaction to the stunt that saw Matt LeBlanc and rally driver Ken Block leave tyre marks around the war memorial.

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He said: "I think it was obviously a mistake and I haven't seen all the breakdown, but maybe having two Americans in the car who wouldn't be as sensitive to occasion and logistics is my first benefit of the doubt.

"If I'd been in the car, we should definitely know better. But I live in a foreign country so there's plenty of times I go, 'I'm sorry, I didn't know that'.

"It was clear to me there was a very quick response, a very clear apology and I think that's all you can do.

"It shouldn't have happened, but it did. You move on."

- PAA