The team did not perform as well as expected in 2002, in a season dominated by Ferrari, and due to the unreliability of the car; they eventually finished third in the Constructors' Championship with 65 points and one victory (in Monaco).
Using a development version of the car, the MP4-17D, the 2003 season started very promisingly with wins at the first two grands prix of the year, one each for Coulthard and Räikkönen. However, rival teams soon caught up as McLaren was sidetracked by the development of the McLaren MP4-18, a radical new design, which due to reliability problems, never raced in anger. As a result, the team gradually fell slightly further back as the season progressed, allowing rivals, developing their cars more efficiently, to catch up. However, despite this setback, Räikkönen consistently finished in the points and challenged Michael Schumacher for the championship all the way up to the very last race, eventually losing the title by only 2 points. The team again finished third in the Constructors' Championship, and having 142 points, just two points behind Williams F1.
Complete Formula One results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position, results in italics indicate fastest lap)
|2002||MP4-17||Mercedes FO110M 3.0 V10||M||AUS||MAL||BRA||SMR||ESP||AUT||MON||CAN||EUR||GBR||FRA||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||USA||JPN||65||3rd|
|2003||MP4-17D||Mercedes FO110M 3.0 V10||M||AUS||MAL||BRA||SMR||ESP||AUT||MON||CAN||EUR||FRA||GBR||GER||HUN||ITA||USA||JPN||142||3rd|