Mercedes boss defends MP4-18

Mercedes Motorsport boss Norbert Haug has come to the defence of the new McLaren MP4-18, saying that the much-delayed car is not a failure, and is likely to make its race debut this season

Mercedes boss defends MP4-18

The MP4-18 has been delayed due to poor speed and reliability during testing and the fact that the car has failed the FIA's mandatory side-impact test. With F1's summer testing ban now in effect, McLaren won't be able to test the car until after the Hungarian GP, effectively ruling it out from making its debut before the Italian GP in September.

"Due to the upcoming test ban, we won't be able to bring the MP4-18 to any of the next three races," Haug told the German SID news agency. "Building this completely new car is a complex task. The chances of the car being introduced this year are good and the MP4-18 represents in any event a perfect basis for next year's car.

"It doesn't matter whether it's called MP4-18 or 19. We didn't squander any money. It's not a failed project, rather the project of the future. We will harvest the fruits of it. There's no disquiet or panic around here. We're right in the midst of the championship race. The old car has the potential to win races."

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