New McLaren may not race until Monza

The debut of McLaren's long-awaited MP4-18 could be put back to the Italian Grand Prix in September if a test at Barcelona in two week's time is not a success, according to this week's AUTOSPORT magazine

New McLaren may not race until Monza

The team has already decided to delay the introduction of the car until at least the British Grand Prix following a troubled test in Jerez last week. However, McLaren now faces a race against time to get the MP4-18 ready before Formula 1's summer testing ban begins.

The test ban means that if the car's reliability problems are not ironed out in a test after the French GP on July 6, the team will not theoretically be able to run the car again until after the Hungarian GP on August 24. That would mean the car might only be ready for the race at Monza on September 14 - the 13th round of the championship - at the earliest.

The team could try to get around the summer testing ban, which is only governed by a gentleman's agreement between the teams, but any such move would likely meet with stiff resistance from McLaren's rivals.

McLaren also faces a battle for the MP4-18 to pass the mandatory FIA crash tests. Sources have claimed that the car has failed its second side-impact test and will need extensive modifications before its next attempt.

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