McLaren electronics now causing trouble in Melbourne

TAG 320 McLaren ECU

TAG 320 McLaren ECU

Formula 1 cars’ standard electronic units, supplied by a McLaren subsidiary, are causing problems in 2013 – not only during testing in Spain but also this weekend in Melbourne.

As the electronic control units (ECU) were upgraded ahead of the turbo V6 debut next year, teams struck trouble during recent testing.

McLaren Electronic Systems (MES) reacted to the bugs, but in Melbourne on Saturday, the telemetry links between the cars and FIA race control failed.

It meant drivers had to revert to watching trackside flags rather than cockpit lights, while race director Charlie Whiting was unable to automatically disable the cars’ DRS systems, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

Meanwhile, a Melbourne power outage caused chaos among Formula 1’s international television broadcasters in the crucial buildup to qualifying — which ultimately was delayed due to bad weather.