DC 'excited' by new McLaren

David Coulthard emerged from his first runs in McLaren's 2004 grand prix challenger fired with enthusiasm, and says he expects to stay that way

DC 'excited' by new McLaren

"I'm very excited to be back with a new car," said Coulthard after trying the MP4-19 at Valencia. "It's always an exciting time after a break. It has been extremely positive so far and it is exciting that we have a new car to test so early. The first day of the challenge for the championship starts here today."

The MP4-19 is the first full-blown 2004 car to break cover and no more are expected to run before the New Year.

This morning Coulthard completed two installation runs and three timed laps and already it's shaping up well. "We only made one set-up change this morning," said Coulthard, "and the car responded very well. If it is as responsive as that, it will be very interesting."

This was also the first outing for the new Mercedes-Benz FO110Q engine, but Coulthard's not giving much away about that: "I can't say there is much of a difference yet," he said, "but so far it is promising."

The Scot's first impressions include those of a rather different working environment: "I am lying much flatter in the car than I did in 17D, but because I haven't driven for a while it is not too noticeable. It is narrower in the footwell too. But the designer is always trying to push how far he can go so it is natural that it will be tighter."

This first morning's running with the new car has already ignited DC's competitive instincts: "I'm keen to know what we can do. Alex [Wurz] is in the 17D and we will be doing some comparisons. We want to see how far we can go."

McLaren is scheduled to remain at Valencia until Thursday evening. Stay tuned for further news.

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