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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 January 2008, 16:00 GMT
McLaren put spy row behind them
The new McLaren MP4-23
McLaren launched the new MP4-23 in Stuttgart and say it will deliver
McLaren are confident they can shrug off the effects of last season's spy row and resume winning races in 2008.

McLaren halted development on its new MP4-23 car after Formula One's governing body, the FIA, feared it could incorporate Ferrari data.

But chief executive Martin Whitmarsh says the 2008 car is still competitive.

"We came up with those areas and we do not believe we are handicapped by that," he said. "We can develop a car that has the opportunity to win races."

McLaren were fined 50m and stripped of all their constructors' points last September for possessing a 780-page dossier of confidential Ferrari information.

The dust finally settled on the spy row before Christmas when the team issued an apology and agreed to freeze development of their 2008 car.

The FIA feared design aspects of the quick-shift gears and fast fuel fill and the use of CO2 as a tyre gas could have been derived from the Ferrari document.

I'm just very focused on the future - we know what we are doing and where we are going

McLaren boss Ron Dennis

However, Whitmarsh insisted the team's decision to alter the development plans would not effect their ambitions for the season ahead.

"We volunteered those three areas because we did not want there to be any ambiguity or any question during the course of this year that any of our programme had been influenced by the events of last year," he said.

"We are happy that there is no influence in the development of last year's or this year's car.

"We are in there with equal opportunity with the other teams with hopefully a competitive car to compete and win races."

Whitmarsh also said the new MP4-23 car, which he described as an evolution, was already faster than the one they ended 2007 with.

Team boss Ron Dennis was equally keen to move on from the events of last season and get down to testing the new car in Jerez this week.

"It's not a question of even spending time thinking about the past," said Dennis, who has been involved in Formula One for 41 years.

"I've spent too much time in that period, so I'm just very focused on the future. We know what we are doing and where we are going.

"My enthusiasm is as strong as you would expect it to be. I'm a racer at heart."

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