MAY 24, 2003
McLaren aims for MP4-18 debut in a month
The McLaren team is not going to rush the debut of the new MP4-18 and the team is not planning to race the car until the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring at the end of June. The plan makes sense given that Monaco is not a good place to introduce a new car and it is followed by a "flyaway" race in Canada, where logistics can be a problem. This means that the team will have a month of testing to get the new car reliable. The testing of the new car has revealed a few minor teething problems but no major dramas.
McLaren managing director Martin Whitmarsh says that the team is confident that the new car will be a winner. The new Ferrari is a step forward but, according to Whitmarsh, "it hasn't moved the game on significantly as far as we can see". McLaren reckons that the MP4-18 will give the team a bigger step forward.
"We aim to give them a fight this year," he told the BBC. "Hopefully we can prevail."