Webber’s race problems not down to McLaren ECU

2013 Australian Grand Prix

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2013Mark Webber’s problems in the Australian Grand Prix were not caused by a problem on his Electronic Control Unit, according to McLaren.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said a problem on the ECU caused Webber to spend most of the first half of the race without KERS. The lack of KERS also contributed to a poor start which saw him fall from second to seventh place.

“Mark made a good recovery after a difficult start and an ECU related KERS issue in the first part of the race,” said Horner. “We managed to reset the system and his recovery was strong from then on.”

The standard ECU supplied by McLaren Electronic Systems has been revised over the winter and caused some problems during testing.

But McLaren Electonics Systems managing director Peter van Manen said the ECU was not the cause of Webber’s problems:

“There was an issue with Mark Webber’s data system in the garage during the formation lap. The ECU on the car was fine.

“We regret any disruption caused to Mark’s preparations for the start of the race and will continue to work with the team to prevent any recurrence.

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59 comments on Webber’s race problems not down to McLaren ECU

  1. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 19th March 2013, 1:05

    What’s wrong with Webber’s KERS? It never seems to work. is it because he’s taller/heavier than Vettel that they can’t get it to work in Webber’s car?

  2. katederby (@katederby) said on 20th March 2013, 8:51

    So McLaren have apologised for disrupting Webber’s preparations for the start of the race. I wonder how many journalists and self proclaimed amateur experts will apologise for the derogatory comments about the driver’s poor start. None, I’d guess.
    Talk about bad luck or no luck.
    And I’m sure Webber would swap Vettel’s disruption on Saturday practice for the start of his home race.

    • @katederby I’d say you had a point if Webber didn’t have a long history of bad starts. I think people can be forgiven for thinking this was probably just another of them. Would you argue that they’ve all been down to technical problems outside of his control?

      • katederby (@katederby) said on 20th March 2013, 11:45

        I think the comments on Webber’s other starts where he’s lost places are often too simplistic, with expressions like “he needs to give it more throttle” showing a lack of comprehension about the complexity of the start procedure. Are all these starts down to technical faults? I’d say a lot have been as KERS failures have been unacceptably high for this particular driver.

  3. dufus (@dufus) said on 20th March 2013, 9:06

    I’m just glad there is an explanation for THIS start.
    Im going to speculate but based on MArk’s comments and all ive read, when they do the formation lap the clutch bite point is analyzed by the pit crew amongst other things. The pit crew then relay the settings Mark has to use to maximize a start. So, whilst the ECU in the car was ok the other end of that in the pits was, er stuffed.

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