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McLaren, Microsoft confirm ECU supply

McLaren Electronic Systems has finally confirmed it has won, along with Microsoft, the FIA tender for supply of standard engine control units (ECU) to all Formula One teams from 2008.

The FIA selected the joint application of Microsoft and McLaren three months ago, but until now neither Microsoft nor McLaren commented on their win, with McLaren's identity virtually kept hidden.

It wasn't until autosport.com reported that "Microsoft MES" is in fact a joint venture between Microsoft and McLaren, that the Woking-based company's involvement was revealed.
 
The company, which operates from the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, operates independently from the McLaren F1 team. It has been developing, manufacturing and deploying advanced electronic control and data systems for more than 15 years, also working within F1 with several teams.

"We have been involved in Formula One and other forms of professional motorsport for 15 years and already work with all the Formula One teams," said Peter van Manen, managing director of McLaren Electronic Systems.

"We are delighted to be working closely with Microsoft and the FIA to supply the standard ECUs to Formula One.

"Our work with Microsoft allows us to combine MES' considerable knowledge and experience of providing systems at the highest levels of motorsport with Microsoft's innovative technologies to deliver the best electronic system possible."

In a joint statement today, McLaren and Microsoft said they will work together to develop, manufacture and supply the ECU systems - with each car's ECU potentially gathering more than 1GB of information during each Grand Prix.

This data will then be broadcast back to systems provided by Microsoft/MES that will be located in the garage of each team for detailed analysis.

"In all industries, Microsoft's aim is to provide people with the right technology and the right tools to enable them to succeed in their business, while also keeping costs to a minimum," said Manuel Simas, director of worldwide automotive industry at Microsoft.

"This is exactly what we are offering to all of the Formula One teams. We are very excited to be involved in this development with MES, of what we believe will be a robust, scalable and easy-to-use system.

"We are looking forward to working with MES and the FIA on this project over the coming years."

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