Theissen unhappy with new ECUs

Mario Theissen has added his voice to the growing number of F1 personnel believing that the standard ECU idea should be reconsidered.

From 2008 onwards, teams will be using a standard ECU. However many teams are finding it difficult to adapt to the new ECUs and Theiessen believes that in an age when costs are meant to be reduced in Formula 1, the new ECU units have not been cost-effective.

We have voiced various objections to the introduction of standard electronics,” Theissen began. “The process of converting cars, engines, gearboxes and, indeed, test rigs has generated considerable extra costs – and there is an even more important argument against the standard ECU going forward.

“Nowadays not just the car as a whole, but every single technical system is equipped with complex control electronics tailored specifically to the function of that particular system. The electronics represent the nerve centre, without which the system would only be capable of limited functionality or would not be able to function at all. Our aim is to make F1 a pioneer in drive technology for the series-produced road cars of the future.”

From 2009, the FIA are looking to introduce even more new rules including the use of hybrid devices to help the new energy-saving systems.

“Looking further ahead,” Theseen continued, “A system is under development which regenerates energy under braking, stores that energy and, when the driver accelerates, puts it back on tap alongside the power from the combustion engine. Highly sensitive control electronics are required to coordinate these processes efficiently and ensure riving safety under all circumstances so tailored electronics are essential if we really want to develop the potential of this system, for example.”

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