McLaren apologises to Webber for ECU issue
19 March 2013 – McLaren Electronic Systems (MES) has apologised to Mark Webber and Red Bull following the season-opener in Melbourne, with a pre-start software issue affecting the standard ECU, used by all 22 drivers, fitted inside the Australian's RB9.
Webber, who fell down the order from second to seventh in the space of two corners, lost telemetry data on his formation lap, leading to a full system reset. Although MES had initially claimed that the device was working normally, a subsequent post-race investigation at its base uncovered an issue and has thus prompted an apology.
"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," read an MES statement. "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."
The ECU currently in use was introduced ahead of the 2013 season, being tested for the first time during the pre-season gatherings at Jerez and the Circuit de Catalunya. It will remain in place for the transition to 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engines in 2014.
Despite the issue, Webber was able to finish his home Grand Prix in sixth place.