APRIL 6, 2004
The future of the MP4-19
There are reports that McLaren is planning to scrap the development programme of the MP4-19 and put all of its energy into building a completely new car to be introduced in August. The team was previously planning to introduce various versions of the MP4-19 in the course of the year and team boss Ron Dennis said in February that one of these would need to undergo crash-testing which, in effect, would make it a new car. The latest stories from within the team suggest that the plan may change so that all the effort goes on the new car rather than on trying to develop the recalcitrant MP4-19. Last year the team made the mistake of trying of putting a lot of development effort into the new MP4-18 while not doing enough with the MP4-17D which was the car being raced. The MP4-18 never raced and was replaced last winter by the MP4-19. The new car was hailed as the machine that would take Kimi Raikkonen to the World Championship but so far Raikkonen has failed to finish a race. Ferrari has 51 points and McLaren has only four
Not surprisingly there has been speculation that there may have to be changes in Adrian Newey's technical team but this would not have any positive effect on the team in the short-term.
Ron Dennis has made it clear that he does not believe that the problems have been caused by the team not focussing on the programme
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