The next new McLaren nearly ready

This year's new McLaren, the MP4-18, never actually made it into competition and it seems the team's next new car is already usurping its shy predecessor. Whether this chassis will be the MP4-19 designation or a further development of the 18 is ...

This year's new McLaren, the MP4-18, never actually made it into competition and it seems the team's next new car is already usurping its shy predecessor. Whether this chassis will be the MP4-19 designation or a further development of the 18 is unclear, but it should be hitting the test track in Spain later this month.

"If everything goes according to plan, the new car should be running for the first time in the 48th week (of this year)," Mercedes' board member Juergen Hubbert told reporters at the marque's Stars & Cars weekend in Stuttgart today, 8th November.

McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen came close to stealing Michael Schumacher's crown this year and Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug is confident things can improve further.

"It was overall a successful year," he said. "One year ago Kimi was 120 points behind Michael Schumacher; this year two. If we continue this improvement we will be where we want to be. We are not afraid of anyone, not Ferrari nor Williams."

Raikkonen is naturally aiming to go one step further next year: "It was a good season even if it would have been better to be at the top," he said of 2003. "Next year I can't promise anything but I will obviously be trying to win the championship."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Kimi Raikkonen , Norbert Haug
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Williams