New McLaren Fails Crash Test for Second Time

McLaren's as yet unraced MP4-18 Formula One car has failed a mandatory crash test for the second time, the team's managing director Martin Whitmarsh said today.

New McLaren Fails Crash Test for Second Time

McLaren's as yet unraced MP4-18 Formula One car has failed a mandatory crash test for the second time, the team's managing director Martin Whitmarsh said today.

He told a British Grand Prix news conference that the car, which the team had hoped to race by Silverstone at the latest before technical problems became apparent, had failed a side-impact test by a tiny margin this week.

"We've passed all of the structural tests bar the side impact test," said Whitmarsh.

"There are four structures on the side of the car. The regulations require that the energy absorbed by each independent structure shall be no more than 35 percent. In one of the structures it absorbed 35.1 percent," he said.

"So it was a very marginal failure. Obviously we were disappointed but I don't think it's one that's going to give us any undue problems. The survival cell itself was completely intact and undamaged."

The car failed its first test last month and will not now appear until Italy in September at the earliest because a summer testing ban prevents the team from resolving reliability problems in time for Germany and Hungary.

In the meantime, the MP4-17D, a development of last year's car, has proved competitive with Finland's Kimi Raikkonen still second in the Championship and eight points behind Ferrari's Michael Schumacher.

Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug last week rejected suggestions that the problematic car was an expensive waste of money and Whitmarsh said he expected it to race.

"I guess it becomes unfeasible when we ship the cars to Japan," he said, referring to the end of season race, when asked at what point the team would have to accept that the car may not ever turn a wheel in anger.

"I think it will race. We are saying now with the self-imposed testing ban that it's not appropriate to introduce it before Italy. We've got a test at the end of the ban in Monza and we'll be taking the car there.

"We're doing a fair amount of work on the car in the intervening period and that's got to be our goal - to be racing it in Italy. But we'll decide after that test if we are comfortable with the reliability and performance."

There are just two races remaining after Italy - the United States and Japan.

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