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DATE News (chronologically)
11/23/07
f1
BMW also objects to "McLaren" standard ECU


Nick Heidfeld in his BMW

(GMM)  BMW has added its objection to formula one's imposition of standard electronics in 2008 and beyond.

Renault has so far been the most vocally opposed to the arrival of the McLaren co-developed system that is now the focus of the post-season tests in Spain.

The team's technical director Bob Bell last week said it is "obvious" that McLaren will have an advantage in 2008, after encountering difficulty in the transition from its bespoke cutting-edge Magneti Marelli system.

Similarly, in a document provided to the press this week, BMW congratulated itself as a "leader in the area of electronics" prior to the imposition of a standard ECU for next year.

"We voiced various objections to the introduction of standard electronics," BMW-Sauber team boss Mario Theissen confirmed.

Following up on Renault's complaint, meanwhile, chief designer Tim Densham suggests that McLaren is the only team in the paddock that does not need to commit vast resources to adapting to the new standard ECU.

"Let's just say that for me this ECU has a very strange shape, a triangular one, so it was clearly designed for a specific car last season," he said.

The McLaren ECU will give McLaren an advantage in 2008

"It's the same thing for the power box that goes with it.  The position and the angle of the connectors are proof of a bespoke design for another car," he added.

Williams' technical director Sam Michael agrees that McLaren will have a "small" advantage going into 2008.

"They don't have to do all the work that the other teams are doing at the moment," he told ITV.

But the Australian concedes that actually implementing and using the McLaren ECU has so far been "painless" for the Oxfordshire based team.

"There have been some issues, it's not perfect, but it's pretty good to be honest," he explained.

"I think within a couple of months you won't even know it's on there."

[Editor's note: F1 made a major blunder by giving the contract to one of its teams to design the spec ECU for all the other teams.]

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