Heidfeld reveals McLaren start system

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Nick Heidfeld has publicly praised a system he claims McLaren have to make their starts more effective. He told Sport Bild:

McLaren have a starting system that allows [Lewis] Hamilton and [Heikki] Kovalainen to pull away with only 9,000 revs. On the other hand, we [BMW] need to use much higher speeds when we begin to accelerate.

Heidfeld hasn’t said McLaren are doing anything wrong – but you don’t have to to attract the attention of the stewards. Is this BMW saying to McLaren, “We know what you’re doing and we’re going to get it banned”?

It was a McLaren company that developed the single electronic control unit (SECU) that all the teams are using this year – so the FIA might be especially sensitive to suggestions that McLaren have gained an advantage by having won the contract.

Earlier in the year Jarno Trulli said some teams were using “suspicious” systems – and later claimed Ferrari had the best low-speed acceleration.

Are we going to see a row over teams using devices to mimic traction control?

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Heidfeld reveals McLaren start system”

  1. noooo, that can’t be true…. I would argue that it’s the "out of this world" right foot sensibility Lewis has since he was born, in Peter Windsor words.

  2. I completely agree with what you said here archi. LOLLLLLLL

  3. Surely no-one’s suggesting that the FIA have left the rules so grey that the teams can circumnavigate a system that’s been banned???
    I’ll be honest with you – I just can’t see that happening! ;)

  4. It may be something as simple as the torque curve of the Mercedes engine being better than anyone elses.

    The one thing you can guarantee in F1 is that the FIA can’t write water tight rules and that the teams will find the gaps and exploit them.  The FIA are the same oraganisation who couldn’t write a rule on how to measure fuel temperature.  If they cannot do that they have no chance of writing one that covers every possibilty of simulating traction control.  Max isn’t that bright and he won’t let anyone else make a decision.

  5. You all fail to see the point, this is just McLaren giving better equipment and treatment to Lewis than to Alonso.

    Oh wait…

  6. I know this doesn’t strictly relate to this post but here’s a great shot of F1’s ugliest man: http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/photolarge.php?photoID=93435&catID=1101-3070

  7. Trulli was on to this when he was referring to Ferrari being able to accelerate in practice whenever they wanted without losing traction I think.

    @ Vertigo
    I guess you didn’t see the picture that Keith posted last year of Flavio in a speedo.( it was a link,complete with a warning )

  8. You can find the picture via the last link on this article: F1 in the blogs 33

    (For South Park fans only – look at Vertigo’s picture of Kubica and imagine him saying “Timmy!”)

  9. This isn’t cheathing, what if Mclaren have an engine mode that allows them to take off using only one bank of cylingers then activating the other bank after the car is well in motion. When TC was banned I knew most teams will play around with engine modes. All teams posses the ability to set their engines to run much slower, they already do that when they want to conserve fuel and the engines, why not take it further.

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