McLaren is expected to test the new MP4-18 at the Paul Ricard circuit in France this week but the team is not intending to use the car for the Monaco Grand Prix. Boss Ron Dennis said that the street circuit is dependent on driver skill more than a...
McLaren is expected to test the new MP4-18 at the Paul Ricard circuit in France this week but the team is not intending to use the car for the Monaco Grand Prix. Boss Ron Dennis said that the street circuit is dependent on driver skill more than a fast car and while he is happy with the progress of the new chassis, it would not be prudent to introduce it at Monaco.
"There's no logic in bringing a new car to Monaco, however quick it is," said Dennis. "It is very much a driver's circuit. And while the car does play a role, what you need is total reliability, a known quantity in weaknesses and strengths. So I don't think it would be the smart thing to do, even if we were quick."
"But the car's on target, we re-programmed the timing of the car after the first two results of the season, we were encouraged by the performance of the 17B, and therefore changed the target dates, just a little bit."
"We don't intend to get into any big, formal launch. It will be very low-key. We'll just concentrate on developing the car. But we will quickly be able to race it, from a components point of view. We will only race it as and when we feel comfortable with its reliability and performance."
The MP4-17B has certainly shown it's competitive enough this season, with Kimi Raikkonen currently leading the Driver's championship, but Ferrari is closing McLaren down with its F2003-GA chassis. Two wins in two races since the debut of the 2003 Ferrari has put the team to the top of the Constructors' standings.