The decisive move came in the pits at the fastest Formula One circuit.
David Coulthard pitted just behind Jean Alesi but drove out first after 32 of 53 laps and went on to beat the Frenchman by 1.9 seconds in the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday at Monza, Italy.
It was the second season victory, and the third of his career, for the 26-year-old British driver of McLaren-Mercedes who took advantage of his good start from the third row and from the quick teamwork in the pits.
Alesi, who was leading in his Benetton-Renault after starting from the pole position, was one of the last drivers to pit, and Coulthard, who was chasing him, was quick to follow the Frenchman.
Coulthard's mechanics were about two seconds faster than Alesi's team, and the Briton raced into the lead, fighting off Alesi's comeback attempts in the final 20 laps.