New cars hold key to world title fight

McLaren and Ferrari have admitted that introducing their new cars at the wrong moment will blow their world championship title hopes, according to this week's AUTOSPORT magazine

New cars hold key to world title fight

With four rounds of this year's championship already gone, both team's remain uncommitted about the timing of the debuts of their definitive 2003 models, as they fight to ensure their new cars are not only a step forward in performance but are totally reliable.

The dilemma for both teams is amplified by Formula 1's new points system, which rewards the consistent finisher more than an occasional race winner. "The points differential is so small, so the important thing is to finish and not prematurely bring a new car to a race that still has some bugs in it," said McLaren boss Ron Dennis.

"Ferrari only has to have one bad finish and it eliminates the advantage of bringing the F2003-GA."

Ferrari is currently testing its new car at Mugello to ensure that it is race ready, but sporting director Jean Todt claims the team is under no pressure to rush the new car's introduction.

"We will decide when we feel we need to decide," he said. "We don't have a gun to our heads. We run our life. Sometimes it doesn't make everyone happy, but we do our own thing."

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