McLaren aiming for wins in 2003

McLaren are aiming for race wins and reliability in 2003 but technical director Adrian Newey admits that winning the title will be extremely difficult. The Woking squad will start the season with a hybrid version of this year's MP4-17 to give...

McLaren are aiming for race wins and reliability in 2003 but technical director Adrian Newey admits that winning the title will be extremely difficult. The Woking squad will start the season with a hybrid version of this year's MP4-17 to give engine partner Mercedes time to develop the new V10.

Running a new chassis with the 2002 engine would have required changes to the car when the 2003 V10 was ready: "It (the new engine) will not be ready in time for the start of the season," Newey told the BBC. "Or not soon enough to be sure we have had enough time to be happy with reliability. So we have decided to take advantage of that when it comes to making decisions about the design of the new car."

"What this says is that we want to go about winning individual races. It means it will be extremely difficult to win the championship, but let's try to get some points early in the season and then be absolutely competitive as soon as we can."

The new chassis is due to debut at the San Marino Grand Prix, the fourth race of the season at Imola, but Newey said only if McLaren are sure of progress: "It's an ambitious programme, and we will introduce it when we have got to a level of reliability that we're happy with."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Adrian Newey
Teams Mercedes , McLaren