Early days for new McLaren

Early days for new McLaren

The long awaited track debut of the McLaren MP4-18 was a low-key affair with test driver Alex Wurz completing a total of seventeen laps at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. The first shakedown of the new chassis went according to plan, with team...

The long awaited track debut of the McLaren MP4-18 was a low-key affair with test driver Alex Wurz completing a total of seventeen laps at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. The first shakedown of the new chassis went according to plan, with team members present to watch the car on its initial outing.

Detail of the new McLaren Mercedes MP4-18.
Photo by DaimlerChrysler.
"Today is an exciting day for the team with the debut of the MP4-18," said McLaren managing director Martin Whitmarsh. "It's a revolutionary new car and therefore we are delighted to now be running it."

"It's early days to be making any claims about the car's performance but we are very confident from the analysis and simulation we have already done that the car will definitely be quick," he added.

"Inevitably there will be a number of challenges and issues that have to be resolved as there are with any new car but that is what we are going to do in the next two-to-three weeks and I'm sure that we will have a successful testing programme and we look forward to MP4-18's race introduction."

Wurz was happy with his day's work: "Everything feels great, we have had no real problems but of course we have to take it slow as always when you do the first shakedown, which is what this is, not a test," was the Austrian's opinion. "Therefore, so far so good."

Race driver Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time of the day's testing in the MP4-17D and David Coulthard was third quickest.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen , Alexander Wurz , Martin Whitmarsh
Teams Mercedes , McLaren