FIA pursues standard ECU proposal

Not everyone is happy with the idea of a standard Electronic Control Unit (ECU) but it's one of the FIA's proposals for 2008 and the sport's governing body intends to pursue the idea. The FIA is "seeking expressions of interest" from potential ...

Not everyone is happy with the idea of a standard Electronic Control Unit (ECU) but it's one of the FIA's proposals for 2008 and the sport's governing body intends to pursue the idea. The FIA is "seeking expressions of interest" from potential suppliers of the system, with the purpose of supplying all the teams from 2008.

An FIA press release stated that the system will be required to control the following:

*An 8 cylinder engine, including single injector and spark plug per cylinder, one throttle actuator, pneumatic valve air pressure, two lambda sensors and two fuel pumps.
*A 6 or 7 speed semi-automatic sequential gearbox and hydraulic multi-plate carbon clutch.
*A hydraulic differential
*An energy recovery system
*A number of digital output drivers

The supplied system will be required to include:

*Steering wheel electronics for switch inputs and driver displays.
*Data acquisition and logging capability sufficient for all control, diagnostic and chassis performance analysis functions with fast data upload capability
*An accident data recorder
*A nominal 12V regulated car system voltage supply
*A list of approved sensor and actuator types
*A single infrastructure telemetry system

The ECU is intended to replace expensive electronic systems such as traction and launch control in order to reduce costs. Driver aids have been banned but then reintroduced over the years as policing of the bans was not guaranteed to be effective.

The standard ECU should prevent any illegality and also would be welcomed by those who think driver skills are more important than technology. However, there's also the faction that believe standard systems undermine the sport's reputation for technological innovation.

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Series Formula 1