McLaren: 'no complacency' with MP4-17D

McLaren has promised that it will not be complacent in the development of its MP4-17D ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, despite the team's primary focus the completion of its 2003 challenger

McLaren: 'no complacency' with MP4-17D

The decision by Ferrari to run its new F2003-GA at Barcelona leaves McLaren as the only team still running its old car. But the team, which currently leads both championships, is confident of a strong performance on the circuit it tests at more than any other.

"McLaren conducts a significant amount of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya," said the team's managing director, Martin Whitmarsh. "As a consequence we arrive at the Spanish Grand Prix well equipped to optimise set-up during the early stages of the race weekend. This factor is of increased importance this year given the revisions to the schedule that has led to less track time throughout the event.

"We conducted a positive test last week at Mugello in the MP4-17D, with Kimi [Raikkonen], Alex Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa at the wheel. Although our primary focus is obviously the final stages of the MP4-18, we are continuing to work on additional updates on the MP4-17D, there is no complacency with this car, we are not standing still."

The team is expecting a tough fight for victory at the circuit. "I am expecting strong competition from at least three teams - the Grand Prix will therefore be very challenging," said Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug. "Track conditions change very quickly at Montmelo, and only the teams which cope with these circumstances are in the position to win."

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