McLaren Reveal MP4-18 Failed Crash Test

McLaren-Mercedes have revealed that their new MP4-18 car has failed an FIA-regulated crash test but said they are confident the machine will pass a standard second test.

McLaren Reveal MP4-18 Failed Crash Test

McLaren-Mercedes have revealed that their new MP4-18 car has failed an FIA-regulated crash test but said they are confident the machine will pass a standard second test.

A spokeswoman for the Woking-based team said today the car failed the compulsory test on June 19 after the crash structure had been redesigned to take into account an aerodynamic package scheduled to be added to the machine later this year.

The monocoque was damaged during the crash test, causing the failure, but McLaren are confident the car will breeze through a second test.

"In order to further optimise the performance of the MP4-18 we have pushed the design to the limits, which is a natural step to take in the development process," the spokeswomen said.

"After passing most of the homologation tests, the MP4-18 underwent further crash tests on June 19 where we had redesigned the crash structure to accommodate a new aerodynamic package which will be introduced later this year.

"We failed this particular crash test, causing slight damage to the monocoque. We have looked into it and are confident the car will pass the next test."

The new car had been expected to debut at the Nurburgring this weekend, but has now been put back until at least the British Grand Prix. The Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday that the crash test failure could delay its debut further until the Italian Grand Prix.

McLaren remain confident in the performance of last year's MP4-17 which has kept the team in the title frame and claim they will continue to use the car until the MP4-18 is proven to be reliable.

"Our goal is to win the 2003 World Championship. We believe we are in a good position to do so and the strategy to use the much developed MP4-17D in the first half of the season has provided us with a platform to achieve our goal," the spokeswoman added.

"We are of course excited by the MP4-18 and all the early indications regarding its performance confirm to us that the car will be a worthwhile step forward.

"It is, however, imperative that we do not jeopardise our championship campaign by introducing a car that has not been developed significantly to achieve the requisite level of reliability."

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