Reliability issues for McLaren

Reliability issues for McLaren

Williams and Ferrari are confident that they are ready for the new season but McLaren has been having a bit of an uncertain time lately. In recent years McLaren has been one of the "big three" at the front of the grid but testing with the MP4-19...

Williams and Ferrari are confident that they are ready for the new season but McLaren has been having a bit of an uncertain time lately. In recent years McLaren has been one of the "big three" at the front of the grid but testing with the MP4-19 this winter has led to some uncharacteristic expressions of doubt from the drivers.

David Coulthard.
Photo by DaimlerChrysler.
Kimi Raikkonen recently said the car's performance gave reason for concern and teammate David Coulthard admitted that there are still some problems that need to be worked on. "We've done a lot of laps but there are reliability issues that we have to resolve on various points," the Scot told Autosport after testing at Imola this week.

"Going into Melbourne we're still not quite sure where we are. We knew last year what the car was capable of, and the car was capable of winning. Then we peaked from there. At the moment, it looks closer (between the top teams) than in the past."

Raikkonen's worry appeared to be reliability of the engine: the Finn went so far as to say he doubted the car would finish the first race. Coulthard disagrees with his younger partner on that subject, believing reliability is always an issue, whether engine related or not.

"For me, the question is how quick are we?" Coulthard said. "In many ways, I'd be happier to be quick in Melbourne and have no reliability than to be reliable and slow. Then we'd know we have a strong car for the rest of the year. Honestly speaking, it will not be a surprise if Ferrari, Williams and Renault will all be quick in Melbourne. The question is how we fit in with them."

Coulthard was second fastest behind Michael Schumacher at Imola testing yesterday and Raikkonen broke the lap record at Valencia recently, so it seems the performance did improve in the final tests. McLaren has now completed its pre-season programme, test driver Pedro de la Rosa shaking down the chassis for Melbourne at Silverstone yesterday.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Pedro de la Rosa , Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams