Microsoft and McLaren Electronic Systems Win Race to Provide Electronic Technology to the FIA Formula One World Championship for 2008 to 2010

Nice but I bet I won’t get a ticket to any races!


PARIS — Dec. 11, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. and McLaren Electronic Systems (MES) today formally announced that they are to be the official suppliers of engine control units (ECUs) to the Fédèration Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Formula One World Championship for the 2008, 2009 and 2010 racing seasons.

As part of the FIA’s commitment to reduce costs, increase competition, and support fuel efficiency and energy recovery initiatives in Formula One, it tendered the contract for the appointment of a supplier of standard ECUs and associated software. The winning bid, jointly presented by MES and Microsoft, was confirmed by the FIA on July 5, 2006, following a meeting of the World Motorsport Council. The three parties have now finalized the contracts.

MES will work with Microsoft to develop the ECU systems and will then manufacture and supply the units to all competing Formula One teams for installation on their vehicles. The ECUs will monitor all aspects of the power train and gather data from over 100 sensors located on each car. Generating on average 100 KB to 500 KB of data per second, one car’s ECU will potentially gather more than 1 GB of information from the sensors during a grand prix race. This data will be continuously broadcast in real time back to systems located in the pit-side garage of each Formula One team for detailed analysis.

These systems will provide enhanced capabilities to process high-fidelity health and performance information; the ability to store and compare historical data from tests drives, previous races and dyno runs; and the verification of car setup and race strategy simulations. As a result, faster vehicle setup and race strategy decisions may be made.

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