New McLaren Debuts at Paul Ricard

The new McLaren MP4-18 made its debut this morning at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, where Austrian test driver Alexander Wurz carried out the first run with the new car from the Woking-based outfit.

New McLaren Debuts at Paul Ricard

The new McLaren MP4-18 made its debut this morning at the Paul Ricard circuit in France, where Austrian test driver Alexander Wurz carried out the first run with the new car from the Woking-based outfit.

The car, which was unveiled yesterday, arrived at the Le Castellet airport very early in the morning and was quickly transported to the circuit where, in front of McLaren boss Ron Dennis, was fired up for the first time, with Wurz completing the first installation lap at 12:56 local time.

Wurz completed only one lap before returning to the garage as running was stopped for the one-hour lunch break.

Test driver Wurz will be the man in charge of the development of the new car in a three-day test that will finish next Friday. Meanwhile, racing drivers David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen will work with the old MP4-17D the team have used in the first six races of the season.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis, whose team lost the overall constructors' lead to champions Ferrari by one point last weekend, warned not to read too much into today's test.

"The first tests are going to be virtually unrelated to performance. They will be systems checks, a range of measurements that we want to take to verify data," Dennis said in Austria. "We are not expecting and do not intend to go to (Le Castellet) and set any quick times."

Testing at Paul Ricard resumes in the afternoon.

For more pictures of the new McLaren, visit Atlas F1's Photo Gallery.

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