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JUNE 1, 2004

New McLaren unveiled in Silverstone

The new McLaren MP4-19B made a public track debut today in Silverstone. In the midst of a downpour the car did not get much track time, but the team remained enthusiastic about the car that they hope can save their season.

Kimi Raikkonen has only scored one point in seven races in the 2004 season after being the 2003 championship runner-up. Raikkonen took the new McLaren out for its first installation lap in the wet.

"He hasn't done an awful lot of running because of the weather," said a team spokeswoman. By mid day the Finn had only completed 13 laps.

A sense of desperation has been brought over the McLaren team after their worst start to a season since 1981 when team boss Ron Dennis took charge. The team is currently in sixth place but are losing ground fast after neither car has completed the last two races.

The current car will be run in Canada next week and at Indianapolis the following week. No date has been given for the race debut of the revised car, although it is expected to be in Hockenheim at the German Grand Prix on July 25.