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KENWOOD is an Official Supplier of
radio communication equipment to McLaren Honda.
Why McLaren Honda?
KENWOOD and McLaren Honda were an ideal fit from the very start, firstly because McLaren Honda is one of the most successful teams, having secured 12 Drivers' Championships and 8 Constructors' Championships to date. This kind of success has a knock-on effect for companies associated with the team. In addition, both partners have very best, but perhaps just as similar core values: not only do they strive to be the very best, but perhaps just as importantly, they aim to produce the most innovative, advanced technologies in order to gain a competitive advantage.
KENWOOD and McLaren Honda have been working closely together since 1991 to develop a state-of-the-art radio communication system. In pursuit of excellence, they continue to produce the highest quality and often ground-breaking technology. But for KENWOOD there is much more to the relationship than just supplying radios to McLaren Honda. KENWOOD has assigned members of its staff to work with the team at the Grands Prix. In addition, the marketing departments of both companies have an exceptional relationship and are relentlessly working to achieve the very best for both organizations. This collaboration takes place throughout the year, both during the season and over the winter period, encompassing a wide range of activities from advertising campaigns through to inviting key guests to Grands Prix.
Formula 1 cars generally make pit stops two or three times during a race for changing tyres or adjustments to the car. The timing of the pit stops are vitally important for race strategy. Sometimes it can make the difference between being on the top of the podium or not on the podium at all. Without a radio system, you could never win races.
Thanks to anti-interception technology, McLaren Honda staff can talk freely to each other about pit stops and other confidential strategic issues without fear of being listened to by the other teams. Although the radio system is not highlighted as often as the engine or the tyres, it is fair to say that it plays an important role for McLaren Honda in winning races.
A KENWOOD radio is supplied to every member of McLaren Honda at a Grand Prix, allowing key members of the team to exchange vital messages with each other while the car is travelling around the circuit at high speed. Several frequencies are used to maintain reliable communications and the advanced digital technology enables such a high level of security that there is no fear of other teams being able to intercept messages. For example, the timing of McLaren Honda pit stops for tyre change would be extremely valuable information for the competition, but with the high security there is no opportunity for outsiders to listen in.
Due to a number of regulation changes every year, it has become even more important for the pit wall to communicate without the fear of eaves-dropping. In other words, KENWOOD's digital radios offer a significant advantage to the McLaren Honda race strategy. With the KENWOOD digital communication system, you can freely exchange information with Teammates without the fear of the other teams listening in on your conversation. This is all acheived under the extreme conditions you would associate with racing. Generally speaking, the higher you make the security of radios, the worse the audio quality becomes. However, the KENWOOD radio team for McLaren Honda has overcome this hurdle by producing the digital system, "McLaren Special II".
KENWOOD established its relationship with McLaren in 1991 and has maintained its partnership by supplying professional radio systems ever since. During the 2017 season, KENWOOD will continue to supply digital wireless radio systems used for communication among team members, as well as provide full-scale technical support through its professional staff.
Starting from the 2014 season, KENWOOD supplies new customized digital wireless radio systems designed specifically for the McLaren F1 Team based on KENWOOD's NEXEDGE® professional digital radio systems lineup — a series that has been deployed worldwide and has achieved strong performance especially in the business and industry markets of North America, Europe and worldwide.
The NEXEDGE® Series not only demonstrates excellent reliability and performance, even within severe environments, but also offers key features such as voice securing, a noise suppressing function, and wide communication range based on digital signal correction technology and narrowband sensitivity enhancement. NEXEDGE® technology lets the team's drivers and staff exchange prompt and accurate communications even in a racing condition where the levels of impact, vibration, and noise are far beyond what one can normally imagine.
In addition, KENWOOD is offering new model headsets for team staff. Developed and manufactured specifically for the McLaren F1 Team, these headsets provide superior sound insulation and durability, as well as comfort when worn for long periods.
In its partnership with the McLaren F1 Team going forward, KENWOOD will contribute to the success of the team by proposing digital wireless radio systems with which we make the best use of our cutting-edge radio technologies, along with expertise we have accumulated from our research and development activities.
Introduction of Team Racing Director and Drivers
Date of Birth: 9th November 1973
Place of Birth: Laval, Mayenne, France
Even as a schoolboy, Éric Boullier was fascinated by racing cars, with pictures of his childhood hero Ayrton Senna adorning the walls of his family home in Laval, Mayenne, France.
After graduating from the French Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Appliquees in Ivry-sur-Seine, he was quickly drawn to the racetrack, working in the World Series by Nissan and A1 Grand Prix. His managerial skills saw him graduate to a role overseeing the careers of several promising young racing drivers.
Becoming team principal at Lotus F1 in 2010, he oversaw a period of growth and redevelopment.
Éric became McLaren’s Racing Director in a structural re-organisation at the start of the 2014 season.
Date of Birth: March 26th 1992
Place of Birth: Kortrijk, Belgium
Height: 1.75m Weight: 62kg
2005, 2006 World Champion
Date of Birth: July 29th 1981
Place of Birth: Oviedo, Spain
Height: 1.71m Weight: 68kg
The team is rich in heritage, having been formed in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren. Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Limited as it was then known set to work on building a race car, and three years later the team made its debut at the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix. The team scored their first race win in 1968, when Bruce McLaren piloted a McLaren-Ford to victory. Tragically though the New Zealander lost his life at a Can Am testing accident at the Goodwood Circuit in 1970, but the team continued his legacy, winning races.
In 1974 the team celebrated its first Drivers' and Constructors' Championship win, with Emerson Fittipaldi in the McLaren-Ford M23. The next Drivers' Championship came courtesy of English driver James Hunt, behind the wheel of the McLaren-Ford M23 in 1976.
To date the team has achieved the highest number of double race wins of any pair of drivers with team-mates Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost notching up 14 wins between them in the 1988 / 89 season. The Senna / Prost partnership also holds the accolade for the most grands prix wins in a season. In 1988 the pair won 15 out of the 16 races on the calendar.
The team has won four consecutive Drivers' and Constructors' Championships (1988-1992) and secured eight Constructors' World Championship titles, the first of which was in 1974. Today the team now has a record 12 Drivers' World Championship titles and eight Constructor's World Championships.