McLaren: Software to blame for Webber’s AGP dramas

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner

The business which supplies the Electronic Control Unit at the centre of Mark Webber’s painful starting problems has clarified the cause of the Australian’s Sunday woes.

The standard ECU, sourced by all F1 teams from McLaren Group company McLaren Electronic Systems, was unable to communicate back to the Red Bull pit stall with the team while on the grid, losing all telemetry as well as KERS.

It caused Webber to drop valuable positions from his front-row starting berth as the race started with the technical problems plunging his Australian Grand Prix into crisis.

Initially Red Bull F1 team boss Christian Horner had indicted the ECU was at the root of the problem however after analysing the data system it is believed that there was a software, rather than hardware, fault..

MES has subsequently issued a statement apologising for the software issue.

“The electronic units themselves ran without incident in Melbourne, but there was a software-related issue that meant that Mark Webber’s Red Bull Racing car’s garage data system had to be re-started during the formation lap,” the statement read.

“That disrupted his preparations for the start of the race, for which Mark and the team has our apology.

“We are working together with them to prevent any recurrence.”

The ECU is completely new this year and will form part of the change to the new turbo-powered V6 engines which will replace the V8 powerplants in 2014.

 

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