Silly problem hampered new McLaren

Silly problem hampered new McLaren

The new McLaren had its debut test at the Paul Ricard circuit in France last week but the much heralded appearance of the MP4-18 turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. With team test driver Alex Wurz behind the wheel, the car managed less than 20...

The new McLaren had its debut test at the Paul Ricard circuit in France last week but the much heralded appearance of the MP4-18 turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. With team test driver Alex Wurz behind the wheel, the car managed less than 20 laps on the first days of the test although the performance did pick up.

Alexander Wurz test the new McLaren Mercedes MP4-18.
Photo by DaimlerChrysler.
Technical director Adrian Newey is unfazed by the lack of running and said it was a "silly problem" that was to blame: "We had a hydraulic problem on the first day -- well, actually the first and second days -- which kept the running right down until we understood that," he explained in Thursday's Monaco press conference.

"It was a silly little problem which was easily sorted once we understood it, so it was frustrating that we were right off the mark on that one but once we got running on the third day, we were able to start putting a few more laps in."

"Unfortunately by then the circuit was reconfigured to be a Montreal simulation and, of course, being a new car we didn't have the wing range so it's really difficult to say very much about the performance of the car at the moment. We're at Barcelona next week and hopefully we can get some proper running done then."

Michael Schumacher, perhaps in retaliation of McLaren boss Ron Dennis commenting he was not impressed with the new Ferrari, was reported as saying the MP4-18 was 'nothing out of the ordinary'. Newey didn't quite know what to make of the reigning champion's remark: "It depends what you call out of the ordinary, doesn't it?" He said. "It sounds a bit of a funny comment to me, but I don't know what he meant by it."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Alexander Wurz , Adrian Newey
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren