The MP4-18

It has been confirmed that the new McLaren which was supposed to have made its debut at the start of the European season in April will now not be seen until the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September. The car has been plagued by reliability problems and has failed a crash test but the principal reason for the new delay is the fact that the F1 circus is now going into a month-long period when testing is banned and so the new car cannot be developed.

"Building this completely new car is a complex task," said Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug. "The chances of the car being introduced this year are good, and the MP4/18 represents in any event a perfect basis for next year's car. It doesn't matter whether it's called MP4/18 or 19. We didn't squander any money. It's not a failed project, rather the project of the future. We will harvest the fruits of it. There's no disquiet or panic around here. We're right in the midst of the championship race. The old car has the potential to win races."

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