While McLaren was busy unveiling the new MP4-23 in Germany, Ferrari chief executive Jean Todt has claimed that the Woking-based team will go into the new season with a clear advantage in the title race.

Todt, who has handed the running of Ferrari's F1 team over to Stefano Domenicali, was speaking to reporters about the new Standard Electronic Control Unit that will be introduced into Formula 1 this season - a unit built by McLaren Electronic Systems.

Admitting he would have preferred the unit to have been built by someone else, the Frenchman said he felt it was a situation that would need to be monitored during the year ahead although he grudgingly accepted that the McLaren bid was the best one put forward.

"We would have preferred that the single control unit for all Formula One teams was built by another company," Todt was quoted by Reuters. "We must accept the fact that McLaren with Microsoft put forward the most economic proposal.

"It is clear it is a situation to monitor. But it is obvious that, at least at the start, McLaren will have an advantage in the championship."

Ferrari's new F2008, complete with the new SECU, turned its first laps this morning in damp conditions at Fiorano in the hands of World Champion Kimi Raikkonen.

 

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