McLaren focus on current car

McLaren focus on current car

Testing resumes next week after the summer ban and McLaren intends to concentrate on the current MP4-17D rather than development of the new MP4-18. Six points behind Ferrari in the Constructors' standings with three races to go, McLaren would...

Testing resumes next week after the summer ban and McLaren intends to concentrate on the current MP4-17D rather than development of the new MP4-18. Six points behind Ferrari in the Constructors' standings with three races to go, McLaren would rather make sure the 17D continues its competitive ways than spend time on the fast but unreliable 18 chassis.

Kimi Raikkonen.
Photo by DaimlerChrysler.
"We are focused on improving the performance of the current car and engine package at Monza and we are confident we'll be making a step there," said team principal Ron Dennis. "We have an upgrade to the 17D that is clearly designed to enhance that car's competitiveness. We'll be testing it at Jerez and it's true to say we are concentrating our efforts on the 17D."

After its rather dismal showing in Hungary, Ferrari, now demoted to second in the standings by Williams, will also be hitting the test track for some intensive work. Dennis knows the Scuderia will be pulling out all the stops to improve on its results of the last two races, but he is confident, if a little cautious, that McLaren will be equally hard-working.

"We are very aware that they (Ferrari) have a highly intensive test scheduled for Monza but we will be doing a lot ourselves," he said. "We will be bringing a performance step to the last three races. Whether that step will provide the drivers with enough of a step to challenge at the remaining races we'll have to wait and see. But we're certainly not giving up on the world championship. Anything can happen."

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren's current championship contender who is two points behind leader Michael Schumacher, is eager to see some developments on the current chassis: "Next week we will go to Monza to test a new aerodynamic package and a more powerful engine," he commented. "We really need it because we have more or less the same car since the beginning of the year."

The Finn, like many, was nonplussed by Ferrari's lack of competitiveness in Hungary but is sure the rival team will be fighting back: "They were not very quick in Hungary and it surprised me a bit," Raikkonen admitted. "But I am sure that before the end of the championship they will be at the top once again. As for us, the only thing that we can do is to go to each race and try to win every time. We will see how it turns out in Japan."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams