McLaren will not rush into racing new car

Despite Michael Schumacher scoring his third successive Grand Prix win in Austria, McLaren says it will not be panicked into introducing its new MP4-18 before it is ready and Ferrari is anticipating a season-long battle

McLaren will not rush into racing new car

Monaco is next on the schedule and McLaren team boss Ron Dennis ruled out the feasibility of racing the new car at a track where reliability and driver input are more important factors. Canada, too, could be too soon with the MP4-18 due to test for the first time at Paul Ricard this Wednesday, as exclusively revealed by Autosport.com last week.

"I think the important thing to remember is that you win world championships from the sum of all the races and there are a lot of races to go yet," Dennis said. "We have only used the interim car so far and while Ferrari has overhauled us by a point in the constructors' championship, Kimi is still two points ahead in the drivers' championship. We will stick to our strategy because it has worked so far.

"The reality is that the Ferrari has the pace, no question, and Michael wasn't pushing hard at the front. Until you push them they don't make mistakes, but on the other hand our competitiveness against Rubens shows that we are not far off and just have to hang in there."

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn responded: "We know that McLaren has got a new car coming and one assumes it's going to be better and we've got to do better than we did today. We were first and third today when we could have been first and second. We've got to do the business. It's not the same as last year, by any means, and we've got a much tougher challenge ahead of us."

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