For me the MP4 is the first car of that category i m interested to buy.
Even if i m Belgian, i ve always been big fan of Brits sports car, and if so far i had been mainly into TVR and Lotus, it is really because i just never been attracted by any Porsche or ferrari. Good, as all cars i had was not very expensive, the McLaren is just the first car who pops up which can decide me to spend 200.000 euros for first time in my life in a car.
So none of these test will make change my mind, i want the MP4, and no other competitor.
The lap times are clearly weird, I don't think Ron dennis is a silly guy, when he said the MP4 was faster, it is probably that in their own test it was.
So why it is not now, i guess no one will ever know the real answer. It is sure the Ferrari is strangely quick, probably due to the new tyre evolution they seem to wear as it is in the bend she is faster, and the most easy and efficient gain there is from tyre. If not that, in straight line the MP4 is clearly much faster.
Still, the game moves on and if i m sure the MP4 is clearly faster than any 458 produced till now, Ferrari obviously was not going to watch the Macca to beat them and to do nothing, Ron Dennis has maybe a bit underestimate their potential reaction.
Still as the Chassis technology of the MP4 is clearly ahead, i think that some little changes can probably putt it back well in front, like it is probably compare to any 458 already on the roads.
Another element is that the Mp4 is a brand new car, and that test driver drive it for first time probably made loose her a few tenth compare to all the other cars in test that they drove many times before.
As its said in the other topic, MLaren pay maybe also a bit the too nigh self confidence theta showed for months in their communication, so it makes big titles that what they said is discussable.
All in all, i think the Mp4 is very well born, just Ron dennis had a bit under evaluate the fact that Ferrari will fight hard, and that the last months, the last weeks, they probably did everything possible to improve the 458.
Now, in real world, let's be clear, on the road, no normal driver will ever use more than 50% potential of cars of that level of performances, so which one is few tenth faster on track is rather irrelevant.
On track days, 99% of us will also stay quiet far from the lap times possible, so again…at our level it makes not much difference which one is the faster driven by a pro driver.
Let's be clear, the 458 as tested now is probably fully developed, and has nothing more to gain in it in the coming months, despite that, the Mp4 is well there, is brand new so still full of possible evolution, no doubt in few months the MP4 will be the faster in any condition, so it is great car, i think that it is a completely new player arriving worth he hype in itself, so my wish to order the MP4 is really not disturbed by any magazine test or lap times.
It is benefit for all customers anyway, it is maybe in decades the first really new serious competitor Ferrari has, and as it is in F1, it will be great see them to fight in road cars business as in that business, there are much more than 4 drivers who can enjoy the progress of the car because of the competition