McLaren heading in right direction

McLaren heading in right direction

McLaren team principal Ron Dennis is fairly happy with the progress the team has made in winter testing, despite some rather erratic results. From the top of the time sheets to the bottom, the MP4-19 has kept people guessing all winter as to what...

McLaren team principal Ron Dennis is fairly happy with the progress the team has made in winter testing, despite some rather erratic results. From the top of the time sheets to the bottom, the MP4-19 has kept people guessing all winter as to what it's really capable of. Drivers Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard have expressed concerns about the reliability of the car but Dennis is unperturbed.

Ron Dennis.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
"The 2004 season is shaping up quite well," he said in a video news release from the team. "We've done a fair amount of testing which has not been without problems, but that's what testing is for. Most of the time we've been pretty competitive, but, of course, you just don't know how strong your opposition is at this stage. However things have moved in the right direction and we are quietly comfortable with our progress."

The MP4-19 has an ongoing development plan that stretches far into the season. Naturally McLaren would like to see good results from the outset but should this not be forthcoming, Dennis is confident things will improve.

"By the time the Grand Prix starts in Australia, we'll have made available to the team four cars and probably by the time they have returned, we'll be up to five cars," he explained. "We've got an extremely intensive development programme, which will unfold during the course of the next few months which will hopefully, provide us with added competitiveness."

"If we can build on a strong performance in Australia, great. If we are somewhat behind in Australia it will certainly give us some confidence that we'll move ahead, because, we are constantly working hard in pushing performance."

The one engine per race weekend rule is new this year, as is the banning of launch control but the McLaren boss said the rules don't particularly affect the car: "The 2004 regulations have really changed how we go motor racing, rather than how the car is configured. We have accommodated the relatively minimal changes to launch control and gear box control systems well."

McLaren wrapped up its winter test programme at Imola and Silverstone this week and now heads to Australia ready for the first race of the season on March 7th.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Kimi Raikkonen
Teams McLaren