Coulthard tests McLaren's new F-1 car

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> McLaren Mercedes's new 2004 Formula 1 car, the MP4-19, made its track debut at the Valencia circuit in Spain on Tuesday, with David Coulthard at the wheel.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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The new Team McLaren Mercedes 2004 Formula One car, the MP4-19, made its track debut at the Valencia circuit in Spain on Tuesday, 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 Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen supported by third Driver Alexander Wurz and test driver Pedro de la Rosa. Coulthard, likely to be embarking on his last season with the Mercedes-powered team after they signed Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya from Williams for 2005, drove the MP4-19 at the Valencia circuit in Spain. McLaren completed the 2003 season with a development of last year's car after the MP4-18 that had been due for introduction mid-season suffered repeated crash test failures and reliability problems. The design of the MP4-19 has required the incorporation of a number of new FIA Formula One technical regulations for the 2004 season - regulations intended to cut costs by limiting teams to one engine per car per race weekend. "The focus for the engine manufacturers now isn't just purely on power. It's on reliability as well, as we have one engine to use through the entire weekend. This engine ran for the first time on 31st July and it's already had quite extensive dyno testing so, to have that in the car now, in November, it proves a big challenge for the team to get the reliability. But, hopefully having that early start, will give Mercedes Benz that vital step forward over our opposition," said Coulthard. The new engine is more compact than its predecessor, producing centre of gravity benefits. 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. The team will give the new car three days of testing in Valencia before relocating to Barcelona and Jerez with Coulthard, Kimi Raikkonen, Austrian Alexander Wurz and Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa in the first two weeks of December. The 2004 F1 season starts in Melbourne next March. (AP)

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