Significant progress takes time says Dennis

Significant progress takes time says Dennis

McLaren will run a modified version of this year's MP4-17 in 2003 in an attempt to catch up with Ferrari. Unlike Williams, who promise a radical new approach for next season, McLaren boss Ron Dennis believes there is more progress to be made ...

McLaren will run a modified version of this year's MP4-17 in 2003 in an attempt to catch up with Ferrari. Unlike Williams, who promise a radical new approach for next season, McLaren boss Ron Dennis believes there is more progress to be made developing this year's car and significant improvements only happen over time.

"We are failing," Dennis stated. "We have a very clear plan of how we're going to run through next season. We hear the rumours that we'll use this year's car. That's not correct. We will use what is defined as the 17D. That is, a significantly modified version of what we're running, and that also applies to the derivation of the engine."

David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen.
Photo by TAG McLaren.
"Why? Because we know there's more to come from what we've got. And we know that if we go down that path, as demonstrated by Ferrari -- it's not a question of copying Ferrari -- we should at least have a greater potential for reliability in those first three races."

"We will give our engineers -- and there are significantly more engineers on both sides of fence (McLaren and Mercedes) -- greater involvement. It makes a lot of sense to have as much manoeuvring time to find what we need, which is a quantum step. Incremental steps are not going to end the Ferrari domination. We have to take significant steps, and that means time."

This season has seen McLaren fighting with the likes of Renault while trying keep up with Williams. The team stands third in the Contsructors' championship, Williams having done enough this year to secure second. David Coulthard has had a few points finishes but only two podiums, one of which was victory at Monaco. Team mate Kimi Raikkonen has won the approval of many but the Finn has been plagued by a string of engine failures which put paid to his chances of more points.

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