• Australian Grand Prix

Webber suffers ECU glitch

ESPN Staff
March 17, 2013 « Alonso 'optimistic' after 'fantastic' second | Massa 'disappointed' with strategy »
Mark Webber's best finish in Australia remains fourth place in 2012 © Sutton Images

A problem with Mark Webber's Electronic Control Unit (ECU) heavily compromised his Australian Grand Prix as he laboured to sixth place.

The start of the race saw Webber get another poor launch off the line and drop back to seventh place from the front row, leaving him stuck in traffic for the majority of the race. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed that the McLaren-supplied ECU had stopped telemetry getting back to the race engineers and as a result Webber wasn't given an ideal clutch bite point and then suffered a KERS failure.

"Mark's problems were hugely frustrating because it was an ECU issue and that is supplied by a third party," Horner said. "We lost all telemetry on the formation lap and then you can't do the preparation you need to at the start. That meant he was blind for the start and that ECU issue shut the KERS down as well. By the time we reset the whole system he'd lost the ground at the start. It's something that they need to get on top of because there has been a lot of issues during testing."

Webber added: "We didn't have too much of an idea in terms of getting information back to the guys in the pits," Webber said. "We lost KERS as well for the majority of the first part of the race so that made it very difficult. We had a very, very difficult first pit stop, which was slow, so wow we ticked a lot of boxes in the first half hour of the race unfortunately in a negative fashion.

"But that's Formula One, it can go like that. Today, even if we got everything right I think that we showed we were probably going to get outdone two-stopping - I think Kimi two-stopped - and the race was going to be very difficult for us to win even if we had a smooth day. I think Seb might have had a reasonably smooth day but at the end of the day we weren't quick enough."

Asked if Red Bull expected to be quicker in race trim than it was, Webber admitted that was the case.

"Yeah, we probably did, but we'll analyse that and go through it. Fair play to Kimi and his guys, you've got to take your hat off when somebody wops you and they did a good job."