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Microsoft gets F1 Contract

8:03 pm on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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From the Inquirer [theinquirer.net]

The last thing a driver wants when going around a corner at close to the speed of sound is a little window appearing to warning that the computer has to shut down and would he or she like to notify Microsoft.
6:15 am on July 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Bridgestone and Microsoft have been granted exclusive contracts to be the sole suppliers, of tires and ECUs respectively, of Formula 1 beginning in 2008.

I can understand the F1 authorities wanting the teams to use one brand of tyre because it evens things out but I don't think one ECU will even things out at all, far from it. Every manufacturer has their own ecu that has been developed for their engine. How can one software company produce an ecu that will correctly control the different makes of engine. It may work better for some than other, therefore giving some teams an advantage.
I can see a lot of engine producers being unhappy about this decision, if it happens.

Sounds nuts to me.


11:46 am on July 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The F1 authorities have been showing signs of madness for some years. F1 has never been purely a battle between drivers, it has always been a team sport in which a large part of the teams are innovators. In order to slow the cars down they keep adding more and more regulations and normalisation. However, they keep ignoring the most obvious method of slowing down the cars - fuel rationing. All they need to do is allow cars to use so much fuel and no more - that would certainly add drama to race finishes and require greater driving skill.

Having said that, I can understand the thinking behind a single ECU. Some years ago, traction control was banned but one of the teams realised that a tweak of the engine control software could achieve much the same thing, eventually this became "launch-control". However, the idea of giving the contract to Microsoft is bizarre and a single ECU will effectively rule out the possibility of major innovation - on balance, a really bad idea.


12:26 pm on July 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That kind of defeats the purpose of the RAD point of F1?

Without competition between manufacturers there is little incentive to develope.. It may make for a more even playing field in some ways, but that is not the point of F1, the winners are the ones who construct the right package, from tyres to engines to digital, to driver...


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