Pedro de la Rosa thinks it is too soon to predict that McLaren’s new formula one car will be the class of the field in 2007.
After countryman Fernando Alonso led the Valencia field in testing so far this week, McLaren’s Spanish test driver admitted that the MP4-22 is “better” than the 2006 car, which failed to secure a single race win.
“The new car is an evolution of last year’s car,” 35-year-old de la Rosa told the Spanish newspaper ‘Marca’, “but we need to find out just how much better it is than the MP4-21.
“It is still very difficult to judge that.”
The weather at the year’s first group test has so far not been cooperative, and de la Rosa also said the loss of the second new chassis – damaged by Lewis Hamilton in a huge shunt last week – was a “blow” for the team.
De la Rosa said: “The car has been born without vices and it is clear that we have taken a step forward over last year. But until we can compare it properly against Ferrari and Renault in the coming weeks we are cautious.
“That is the main sensation inside the team at the moment — caution.”