Kimi Raikkonen finished a grand prix for the first time this year on Sunday, but despite an improvement in the reliability of the MP4-19, McLaren-Mercedes believes that the MP4-19B, due in July, will be a race-winning machine.

Kimi Raikkonen finished a grand prix for the first time this year on Sunday, but despite an improvement in the reliability of the MP4-19, McLaren-Mercedes believes that the MP4-19B, due in July, will be a race-winning machine.


The embattled Finn developed an engine problem on his qualifying lap for the San Marino Grand Prix on Saturday, forcing McLaren to replace his car's powerplant ahead of the race.


The engine change demoted Raikkonen to the back of the starting grid, but the Finn produced a solid drive to eighth. He had to suffer the ignominy of being lapped by race winner Michael Schumacher, however.


His team-mate, David Coulthard, suffered a nightmare start when he lost his front wing against the rear-end of Fernando Alonso's Renault. The Scot ended the race in 12th place.


In reaction, McLaren-Mercedes team principal Ron Dennis said: "The problems we experienced in practice with Kimi and the first corner incident with David effectively meant that we raced from the back of the grid which is an unusual and a not to be repeated experience for the team. However we can take some comfort from our pace mid-race and the reliability of the cars."


However, McLaren-Mercedes is pinning its hopes on a new car, designated MP4-19B, to revive its chances of challenging for race wins this year. The new car is likely to race for the first time in the German Grand Prix on July 25.


McLaren-Mercedes technical director Adrian Newey recently said: "With the current car we will obviously do what we can, but we really are pushing hard on the MP4-19B."


Newey also revealed that the new car will include bigger changes than there were between the stillborn MP4-18 and the current MP4-19.


"From a performance point of view they were the same car," he said. "I would hope that the MP4-19B will represent a step forward."


Engine unreliability has been the MP4-19's biggest problem so far this year, but there had been personnel changes within McLaren-Mercedes in order to try to resolve matters, Newey added.

Original article from Car