McLaren 2003 line-up unchanged

McLaren-Mercedes has confirmed that David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen will continue as its race drivers in 2003, with Alexander Wurz again signed as the team's third driver

McLaren 2003 line-up unchanged

Team boss Ron Dennis said: "Our decision reflects the excellent work of all three drivers but it was not as straightforward as some might imagine. We try to approach every aspect of driver selection in a methodical and scientific manner. As well as myself and Norbert Haug, Martin Whitmarsh and Adrian Newey are involved in the decision-making process at McLaren and Mr Hubbert has input for Mercedes.

"We think long term as regards the economics and aspirations of the team and we also took into account the possibility that we may need to run three cars, therefore we are contracting three racing drivers." Dennis did not rule out the possibility of signing a separate test driver at a later stage.

Wurz has given up the opportunity of racing with a lesser team by extending his McLaren deal, and said: "I'm very happy to enter a long-term contract with McLaren as third driver. I've grown into this role over the past two years and it's an integral and challenging position with the team.

"With the general uncertainties in F1 at the moment and the current stalemate situation in the driver market, I preferred to commit early to this agreement and to my team-mates, rather than having to wait for situations to unfold."

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