McLaren MP4-23 debut at Jerez track 

Written by David on January 09th, 2008 at 9:02 pmLast Update: January 09th, 2008 at 9:02 pm

McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 Front ViewThe all new McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23 single-seater presented on Monday in Stuttgart, made today its track debut at Jerez’s Circuit in Spain. Heikki Kovalainen and McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa, had the chance to test 2 different MP4-23 chassis. Pedro de la Rosa’s MP4-23 chassis was the one previously presented in Stuttgart while Kovalainen’s left the McLaren Technology Centre on Tuesday 8th and travelled directly to Jerez.

The first impressions on MP4-23 from both McLaren drivers were:

Heikki Kovalainen : “It was really great to get on track today with the MP4-23. It was my first session as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver. I always really enjoy the first day a new car runs, there is always a very unique atmosphere, you know a little bit tense, a little bit excited. The first impressions of the new car are good. We have a comprehensive development schedule to work through over the next couple of months. The car’s performance today is definitely an encouraging starting point. Today was also my first real opportunity to meet the test team, which was good because we will be spending a lot of time together over the next few weeks!”

Pedro de la Rosa: “We covered 69 laps in total today between Heikki and me, which is a good start. The car felt positive and it has been an encouraging day. This is the second time I have had the opportunity to make the track debut with our new car, it is also the eighth car I have driven for the team. It is great for me to be in the car from the very beginning, as I am able to instantly build up an understanding of the car and how it works, and then start to put this knowledge into the testing programme. This time of the season, from when a new car is launched until the first race, is probably the busiest time of the year for the test team. We have 18 track days scheduled, including today, before the MP4-23s leave for Australia and a lot of work to complete in that time, but the motivation is huge with all the guys here.”

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