The McLaren MP4-18 may not be put into competition before the Italian Grand Prix in September, if at all this year, but Mercedes-Benz motorsport director Norbert Haug denies the new car is a failure.
The McLaren MP4-18 may not be put into competition before the Italian Grand Prix in September, if at all, but Mercedes-Benz motorsport director Norbert Haug denies the new car is a failure.
Haug told there was a good chance the car would race this year, but that McLaren was not worried if it didn’t. The MP4-18 will be the basis for next year's chassis. "Building this completely new car is a complex task," he said.
"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 at all 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. 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," he added.
McLaren-Mercedes boss Ron Dennis initially said the MP4-18 would hopefully be introduced for the British Grand Prix this coming weekend. The car is reportedly faster than the current MP4-17D, but is still suffering reliability issues and has crucially not yet passed all the impact tests required by F1's governing body, the FIA.
Team test driver Alex Wurz finally put the new car at the top of the timesheets during last week's Barcelona test session, but the chances of it seeing a race this season are looking increasingly slim. The summer testing ban comes into force after Silverstone, which will hamper McLaren-Mercedes' progress further.
Original article from Car