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McLaren to run third car in 2005?
It would appear that McLaren is to make full use of the 'third car' on Grand Prix Fridays, under the ruling introduced in 2004 in an effort to help the smaller, poorly funded teams.
In the run up to the season finale, there was speculation that McLaren might be content not to finish in the top four in the Constructors' Championship, since this would allow the Woking outfit to take advantage of the ruling.
At the time, McLaren denied that it would run a third car, commenting that the rule was not introduced for the 'big teams', indeed its rivals have said that running a third car would be contrary to the spirit of the regulations.
Now however, McLaren has admitted that it will take advantage of the rule and will run a third car, particularly at circuits where the team feels that it will benefit from the extra mileage.
"As the Team McLaren Mercedes team finished fifth in the
2004 Constructors' World Championship, the FIA regulations allow us to run a third car during Friday's practice," a spokeswoman told Pitpass. "Obviously at races where we consider running a third car will be to the team's advantage, we plan to do so."
Under the rules, only drivers who have competed in less than six Grands Prix in the previous two years are eligible to participate in the sessions, this would apply to both McLaren test drivers, Pedro de la Rosa and Alexander Wurz, even though the Austrian is having problems accommodating his lanky frame in the new MP4-20.