It is 20 years since Senna died in a crash at the San Marino Grand Prix, and speaking on the anniversary of the Brazilian's death, Coulthard explained how the racer's passing affected his own chances of progression in the sport.
He told BBC Sport: "In many ways, I owe my career to Ayrton's death. At the time, I was in my third year of F3000 and I had no money.
"My family had helped me a lot, but the sums were getting too big and they had made it clear I was on my own.
"I was not far away from running out of options and heading back to Scotland to run the family transport business, knowing I'd tried everything."
A memorial service was held in Imola to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Senna's death on Thursday.