The West McLaren Mercedes MP4-18 Formula One car will make its testing debut on Wednesday 21 st May 2003 at the Paul Ricard circuit, in the South of France. Third Driver Alexander Wurz will drive the MP4-18 during the course of the three-day test session. The details of the race introduction of the new car will be confirmed at a later date once the car has fulfilled the team's expectations with regard to reliability and speed. The Paul Ricard test will also see West McLaren Mercedes drivers David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen continue the development of the 17-D together with test driver edro de la Rosa.
The MP4-18 incorporates a number of visible differences. These include a shorter and lower nose, a more tightly packaged rear and a slight dorsal fin shaping to the engine cover. In addition the new Mercedes-Benz engine, the FO 110P V10, has een lowered within the car, producing centre of gravity benefits.
The MP4-18's programme at the Paul Ricard test will see the team focusing on systems, aerodynamic and components evaluation. After the first test, the West McLaren Mercedes team will continue the car's development schedule and once the initial programme has been completed, David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen ill take over.Source - McLaren