McLaren promises to come out fighting

McLaren's managing director Martin Whitmarsh has promised that his team has increased its performance over the winter break, and that it will operate at a more competitive level in this weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix

McLaren promises to come out fighting

McLaren finished third in the world championship last year, but that was its worst performance since 1997. Although the Woking-based squad will start the year with an updated version of last year's car, Whitmarsh says the team has enhanced its chances of success over the winter.

"There has been no effort spared during the off season," said Whitmarsh. "The entire team has worked incredibly hard with the aim of increasing our overall competitiveness. Although there are no quick fixes, we do not intend to continue to under perform."

The car McLaren will use for at least the first three races is the MP4-17D, which features a variety of changes over the car which finished last year's season finale, the Japanese GP.

"The MP4-17D has a new transmission, a new rear suspension package, a new aerodynamics package, along with new front suspension that we incorporated at the end of 2002," explained Whitmarsh. "The MP4-18 [2003 car] will be introduced during the European season, at a point where it represents an improved package."

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Australia Preview Quotes: McLaren

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