New McLaren completes first laps

McLaren's eagerly anticipated MP4-18 challenger has logged its first laps of the Paul Ricard circuit in France with test driver Alexander Wurz behind the wheel

New McLaren completes first laps

The car landed in France at 7:30am this morning and was in the garage by 8:15, with high security surrounding the machine. All the top McLaren hierarchy were present for the run, including Ron Dennis and Martin Whitmarsh.

The Paul Ricard test continued to be affected by strong winds, but the car took to the track at about 12.00 BST under sunny skies and an air temperature of 20C. Its debut was brief, with just an installation lap being recorded to check the car's systems.

Wurz completed a four-lap run straight after lunch, recording a 1m16.748s. McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was top of the timesheets at that time with a 1m11.255s in the MP4-17D. A hydraulic problem limited the car's running this afternoon, with only 11 laps recorded by 17:00 local time (16:00 BST).

The MP4-18 features a shorter and lower nose, a more tightly packed rear and a slight dorsal fin shape to the engine cover. The new Mercedes engine, the FO 110P V10, has been built specifically for this car and will sit lower in the chassis to aid its centre of gravity.

Autosport.com will continue to bring you all the action as it happens from the track.

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