MP4-18 Makes Slow Start at Paul Ricard - Day Two

Finn Kimi Raikkonen was the fastest man on the second day of testing at the Paul Ricard circuit, while the new McLaren MP4-18 finished at the bottom of the timesheets on its first day of running.

MP4-18 Makes Slow Start at Paul Ricard - Day Two

Finn Kimi Raikkonen was the fastest man on the second day of testing at the Paul Ricard circuit, while the new McLaren MP4-18 finished at the bottom of the timesheets on its first day of running.

McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz was the man in charge of testing the new machine, unveiled yesterday. Wurz, who will drive the MP4-18 for two more days, carried out systems, aerodynamic and components evaluation, completing a total of 17 laps to finish nearly five seconds off the pace of Raikkonen, who drove the old MP4-17D.

The team, however, were encouraged by the performance of the new car and said it was early to make any judgments.

"It's early days to be making any claims about the car's performance but we are very confident from the analysis and simulation we have already done that the car will definitely be quick," said McLaren's managing director Martin Whitmarsh.

"Inevitably there will be a number of challenges and issues that have to be resolved as there are with any new car but that is what we are going to do in the next two-three weeks and I'm sure that we will have a successful testing programme and we look forward to MP4-18's race introduction."

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya finished as second quickest with the first of the Williams outpacing Scot David Coulthard in the third of the McLarens on track today. Marc Gene was fourth fastest in the second Williams, while Toyota driver Olivier Panis continued working with the only Toyota that was in action at the French circuit.

The Renault team joined the Paul Ricard test today, with Scot Allan McNish posting the sixth quickest time.

"We had a very useful day's testing for what will be one of the most important race for us, the Monaco Grand Prix," said Renault's technical director Mike Gascoyne. "We ran a substantially updated aerodynamic package, conducted some tyre evaluation and also worked on electronic systems."

Testing at Paul Ricard resumes tomorrow.

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team-Engine Tyres Time Laps 1. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:11.255 84 2. Montoya Williams-BMW (M) 1:11.452 91 3. Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:11.528 91 4. Gene Williams-BMW (M) 1:12.032 106 5. Panis Toyota (M) 1:12.863 68 6. McNish Renault (M) 1:13.062 97 7. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:16.121 17 All Timing Unofficial

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