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Trulli: rivals may have start systems

Jarno Trulli fears that some teams have found a way to get around the electronic limitations of Formula One's mandatory standard ECU, are now able to simulate launch control - which was supposed to have been outlawed this year

The McLaren Electronics Systems (MES) standard ECU has been introduced for 2008, resulting in the effective outlawing of electronic driver aids like traction control, engine braking and launch control.

Although it was hoped that the absence of launch control would lead to more drama at the start of races, with drivers now needing more clutch control and having to handle wheelspin, Trulli thinks not everyone will be on a level playing field when the season kicks off in Melbourne.

He believes that some teams have found a way to make their start procedure automatic, which will hand their drivers a big advantage when the lights go out.

"I'm not going to name any names, but I think that some teams have already found a way to automate the starting procedure and reduce to the minimum the chance of spinning the wheels under acceleration," he was quoted as saying by Italian magazine Autosprint.

"I'm not saying someone's cheating, even though we've received some conflicting information at Toyota.

"But having analyzed the behaviour on the track both now and in the tests in December, the changes between them are many - and in several cases suspicious."

Electronic launch control was banned in 2004, however, mechanical launch control - where the clutch was preloaded based on data away from starting grid - was allowed until the end of last year.

Paddock sources have suggested that some cars do sound different under heavy acceleration, with this first being noticed at the first corner at Jerez during last week's test.

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