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Is it fair, are they shaping and 
is it over? - The Heretic

November 2003 News
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25 November: (McLaren Press release) The new Team McLaren Mercedes 2004 Formula One car, the MP4-19, made its track debut today at the Valencia circuit in Spain with David Coulthard at the wheel. This week’s three day session will be followed by the start of the team’s full pre-season test programme at Barcelona and Jerez in the first two weeks of December, with David and Kimi Raikkonen supported by Third Driver Alexander Wurz and Test Driver Pedro de la Rosa.

The design of the MP4-19 has required the incorporation of a number of new FIA Formula One technical regulations for the 2004 season. The single engine rule, which limits each driver to one engine per race weekend marks the most fundamental change. Consequently the Mercedes-Benz FO 110Q V10 is a completely new design, to meet the extended use requirements for the 2004 Formula One World Championship. The new engine is more compact than its predecessor, producing centre of gravity benefits. The Mercedes-Benz FO 110Q ran on the dyno for the first time on 31st July 2003.

The revised regulations have also led to the MP4-19 carrying a rear wing restricted to a maximum of two horizontal elements, and an increased engine cover size. Other key visible design differences of the MP4-19 include the relocation of the radiator exit and a top exit exhaust.

Preparations for the 2004 season have also seen the appointment of Nicholas Tombazis as Chief Engineer Aerodynamic Development at McLaren Racing, in a move that further supplements the already strong design team led by Technical Director Adrian Newey. Nicholas, formerly Chief Aerodynamicist at Ferrari, will join at in April 2004 working alongside Peter Prodromou, who remains as Head of Aerodynamics also reporting to Adrian Newey.

MARTIN WHITMARSH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, McLAREN RACING “The Team McLaren Mercedes team is pleased that the preliminary shakedown of the MP4-19 has taken place at this early stage in our preparation for the 2004 Formula One World Championship. This timeframe will allow us to fully maximise our pre-season test and development programme, and therefore help to meet our aim of arriving at the 2004 Australian Grand Prix with a technical package that is capable of sustaining a consistent challenge for both World Championships. This is of course of particular importance given the current points system. We are also pleased to take this opportunity to announce the continued strengthening of our technical team, with the appointment of Nicholas Tombazis as Chief Engineer Aerodynamic Development. We believe this latest addition to the team will help to ensure we maintain the positive development impetus of the past year both in the build-up to and during the coming season. We are now looking forward to seeing how the MP4-19 performs over the coming weeks.”

NORBERT HAUG, VICE PRESIDENT, MERCEDES-BENZ MOTORSPORT “Being able to test the car we have built for the 2004 season before the end of the year, will certainly help us reach our targets. From 2004 onwards Formula One will be a tougher challenge than ever. Only one engine will be permitted per driver, car and race weekend – a change in the regulations that sets the bar really high. No engine manufacturer will be satisfied aiming for less power than in 2003, but at the same time we all face the task of at least doubling the engine’s life. Early and extensive tests are going to help both engine and chassis stand up to these new challenges.”

ADRIAN NEWEY, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, McLAREN RACING “Although MP4-19 incorporates significant carry-over from MP4-18, and the findings gathered from its development programme in 2003, we have also had to take into consideration new technical regulations, which have led to some additional change alongside this progression. A further focus of the design team on this front has been the modifications to the chassis to integrate the new Mercedes-Benz FO 110Q engine into the package. The design process of the MP4-19 has seen a continued and fruitful collaboration with all our Technology Partners, which allows us to tap into a wide range of specialist technologies at the forefront of their individual fields that pay dividends to the Team McLaren Mercedes team. For example we have an extremely close relationship with Michelin and recent development work undertaken by ExxonMobil into the Mobil 1 fuels and lubricants we use has seen excellent results. At the shakedown this week, we are primarily focusing on evaluation of various systems, components and the aerodynamics, before the start of the comprehensive test programme in early December. At this early stage, we are currently operating one MP4-19 chassis, and consequently will continue component evaluation with the MP4-17D alongside the new programme in this three week period.”

DAVID COULTHARD “ It is positive that we have been the first team to run our 2004 Challenger today. Obviously as this is the initial shakedown, we are focusing on familiarising ourselves with the MP4-19, and running various evaluations that are required when a new car takes to the track. The Team McLaren Mercedes team and our Partners have been working very hard to get the MP4-19 on track today, and this has provided us with the bonus of as much circuit development time as possible before Christmas. Initially the MP4-19 feels good, it seems to have great potential and it is a further step in comparison with MP4-17D.”

19 November: The Heretic: "Is it fair, are they shaping and is it over?" - The Heretic reviews the 2003 Season - Issue 18

17 November: Following months of speculation, it was announced today that Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya will be driving for the McLaren Mercedes team from the 2005 season. The team also confirmed that David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen will be driving in 2004.
Here is the statement from McLaren:


Woking, Great Britain / Stuttgart, Germany, 17th November 2003: Team McLaren Mercedes is pleased to announce that Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya (28) will join the team for the 2005 Formula One season. Juan Pablo Montoya won the International Formula 3000 Championship in 1998 and became the youngest ever CART Champion in 1999 and in the following year he took victory in the prestigious Indianapolis 500 race in his first attempt. He graduated to Formula One in 2001, has claimed three Formula One victories, 11 pole positions and finished third in this years’ World Championship.

The Team McLaren Mercedes team will confirm the full 2005 driver line-up at a later date but the team’s 2004 Championship challenge will be lead by David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen.

“We want to win races and World Championships, and in order to do so we have to plan for the future whilst applying every effort in the short term,” commented Ron Dennis, CEO and Chairman, TAG McLaren Group. “The opportunity to sign a talent like Juan Pablo was too good to miss, and there is already a considerable amount of anticipation within our team about 2005. Juan Pablo has achieved a considerable amount of success in his career and we are certain that he will add to this with Team McLaren Mercedes. We are certainly looking forward to seeing what he can do in one of our cars and I believe that it’s a prospect that can’t fail to excite Formula One fans around the world. However until that happens we will be focusing all efforts on our 2004 Championship challenge.”

“Juan Pablo has become well established in International motor racing within a short time and will fit well into our team,” said Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. “We have been convinced of Juan Pablo’s great talent since he drove a Mercedes-Benz C-Class touring car in the ITC round at Silverstone in 1996.”

“I am thrilled to be joining Team McLaren Mercedes,” said Juan Pablo Montoya. “The team is consistently a strong World Championship contender and has a fantastic heritage. It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m really looking forward to the first time I will be able to drive one of their cars. To join them is an amazing challenge and experience which I plan to fully enjoy. However, my short term aim is to concentrate 100 percent on winning the 2004 World Championship.”

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