Dennis confident in McLaren challenge

Ron Dennis is confident that McLaren can give Ferrari a run for its money this season and thinks the team will grow stronger as the year goes on. David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen gave the Woking squad two podium finishes in Melbourne, first and...

Ron Dennis is confident that McLaren can give Ferrari a run for its money this season and thinks the team will grow stronger as the year goes on. David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen gave the Woking squad two podium finishes in Melbourne, first and third respectively, and Raikkonen set the fastest lap of the race. Dennis thinks McLaren surprised people with its competitiveness at the start of the season.

"We're under no illusions that it's going to be tough but I think we surprised people with our pace in Australia," he said, according to Sporting Life. "We did the quickest lap and have made a reasonable step on the 17D car. Whether it's enough to give us the points in the beginning of the season I'm unsure, but I'm sure we're going to be strong towards the end of the season."

"The pace is there but there's no question Ferrari still has a very strong package and we're under no illusions that taking points away from them in the early part of the season is going to be hard work, but we'll give it our best shot."

Much is anticipated about what will happen when McLaren and Ferrari introduce their new cars. Ferrari is expected to use the F2003-GA for the first European race on the calendar, the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, but Dennis says the MP4-18 will be after that.

"Real racing is going to be when the MP4/18A is racing against the new Ferrari," he commented. "They'll be bringing their new car to a grand prix sooner than ourselves but if we can maintain some sort of points position, then we can anticipate some really good results towards the end of the season."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari , McLaren