Pedro De La Rosa, McLaren Mercedes’ experienced test driver and former Formula One racer, today became the first man to drive the new 2006 challenger – the MP4-21. McLaren’s new F1 car lapped the Barcelona circuit in 1m 18.252s, only beaten by Gary Paffett (also testing for McLaren) and and the flying Jacques Villeneuve in his new BMW Sauber F1.06. Although Villeneuve managed to lap a second faster than De La Rosa, the Spaniard was reported to be very pleased with the car, and only a minor oil leak prevented him from further running in the afternoon.
Much hype is surrounding McLaren at the moment, after finishing the 2005 season with a formidable – though unreliable – car.
This will mean hard and dedicated work from the whole team supported by our technology partners and official suppliers, including an aggressive schedule of upgrades to come online before Bahrain. Martin Whitmarsh.
Let’s hope that the hard work pays off and McLaren are on the ball from day one.