McLaren apologises to Webber for Australia start issue

By on Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Red Bull Racing/Getty Images

McLaren Group has apologised to Mark Webber after admitting that a software issue in the standard Engine Control Unit (ECU) compromised his start of the Australian Grand Prix.

Webber started on the front row but dropped to seventh place after the first corner, before eventually recovering to sixth place at the finish.

"There is a new standard ECU (Engine Control Unit) in 2013 that featured on all Formula 1 cars that took part in the recent Australian Grand Prix," read a McLaren statement.

"Supplied by McLaren Electronics Systems, the new ECUs were run for the first time on the track by most teams in winter testing in February, just six weeks before racing began in Melbourne."

"They replace the previous ECUs that have been running very reliably since the standard ECU was introduced by the FIA in 2008."

"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. 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."

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