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Home > Business > Economic Survey 2002-2003 > Report

McLaren keep 2005 options open

December 31, 2003 11:47 IST

McLaren are keeping their options open about their 2005 driver lineup despite the widespread belief that David Coulthard will be jettisoned.

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"At the moment we do not want to confirm our complete 2005 driver lineup," a McLaren spokesperson said on Tuesday as speculation flared again.

"We have an option on a number of drivers and as always want to make sure we are in the best possible position to win races and world championships."

Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya has a contract with McLaren for 2005 and team bosses have made it clear that they see Finland's Kimi Raikkonen, Coulthard's current team mate, as a future champion.

Raikkonen was overall runner-up to Ferrari's Michael Schumacher in this year's world championship while Coulthard was seventh. Both Raikkonen and Coulthard are confirmed for 2004.

Coulthard's manager Martin Brundle reinforced the view that Coulthard will be the one to go when he said this week that the Scot would have to perform far better next year to stay with a top team.

"David badly wants to drive in 2005 but he will have to drive well all season to give us a chance of finding him a competitive seat," said Brundle.

"He didn't get the job done in the middle of last season and that was when McLaren started looking around and thinking about taking on Montoya."

The 32-year-old Scot has been at McLaren since the start of the 1996 season and was world championship runner-up in 2001.

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