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The MP4-18 has not yet passed all the impact tests
McLaren's hopes of mounting a serious challenge to Ferrari and Williams this season have suffered a setback after it was revealed their new car won't race at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday. It was also reported on Monday that the MP4-18, which has been dogged by technical problems, may not even appear until the final two races of the season in the United States and Japan.
A spokesman for Mercedes, the engine partners of McLaren, told the BBC that even racing at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix in September, the final European grand prix, has yet to be decided.
"The team will decide the next course of action after reviewing the results of last week's test," the spokesman said. The MP4-18 showed its potential in Barcelona when McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz set the fastest time on the final day of testing last Friday.
However, the BBC said that sources close to McLaren have said that despite the car being considerably faster than the 2002 version, poor reliability is still causing problems. The MP4-18 has not yet passed all the impact tests required by F1's governing body, the FIA.
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The MP4/19 will arrive before the end of this season !
McLaren will decide on Wednesday if the MP4/18 is going to take part in the British Grand Prix or not. (which its not )
If Adrian Newey's new car is not able to pass this evaluation test, it is possible that the MP4/18's career in F1 will be extremely short since Ron Dennis already announced that the MP4/19 will arrive before the end of this season...
"There will be two MP4/18's on the circuit this Wednesday at Barcelona for a final test that will tell us if it is ready for the British Grand Prix," said Ron Dennis. "During the previous private testing sessions, we had some problems but nothing too serious. As far as the MP4/19 is concerned, it will be ready to go on a circuit before the end of this season."
Ron Dennis is not saying more about this situation but it makes everyone wonder if the MP4/18 going to have a true F1 career or if it is going to stay only for a few races. It will probably be more clear once McLaren is able to evaluate the true potential of the MP4/18.
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This seems crazy
to me because the money they put into the MP4/18 will be wasted, i would of thought they would race the MP4/18 next year and use the MP4/19 in 2005 which would be there main Championship contender year.
But I'm not part of a formula 1 team so i guess i know what they are doing but Go Mclaren!!!