Horner fuming over McLarens faulty ECU unit

McLaren’s start to the season has been one to forget with their performance being way below their expectations. Their subsidiary MES (McLaren Electronic Systems), which provides the entire grid with mandatory standard ECU (Electronic Control Unit), has come under strong criticism from all teams and team bosses for their new ECU device that is to be used from 2013 onwards after they have faced multiple issues during preseason testing.


Red Bulls boss, Christian Horner was left fuming after the start of the Australian Grand Prix, where Mark Webber had a tardy, but not unusual, start off the line due to the faulty ECU. The KERS on his Red Bull failed along with all telemetry which tells the engineers on the pit wall what is happening with the car and helps them keep an eye on all systems and their temperatures.

2013 MES ECU 

Horner made his displeasure quite clear by saying ,”Mark’s problems were hugely frustrating, we lost all telemetry on the formation lap. It had nothing to do with Mark. You need to ask McLaren why the ECU didn’t work and why it messed up his preparation, because he was blind. It is something they need to get on top of.”

He added saying that, “There’s been a lot of issues during testing. We lost all telemetry on the formation lap and then you can’t do the preparation that you need to for the start so then he’s blind for the start and that ECU issue shut the KERS down as well. By the time we’d reset the whole system he’d obviously lost the start, lost early ground.”

Applications of the ECU unit

  • Control and monitoring of a racing car powertrain
  • Up to 8-cylinder engines
  • Throttle-by-wire
  • Clutch-by-wire
  • Semi-automatic gearbox
  • Powerful onboard data logging and telemetry control
  • Ethernet connection to application and data analysis tools (System Monitor and ATLAS)
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