Enjoying a brief moment of success in an otherwise dire season for its F1 operation, McLaren has received a prestigious award at the first annual European Awards for Innovation Leadership.

Peter van Manen, MD of McLaren Electronic Systems, was presented with the High Performance Innovation Award in recognition of MESL's years of innovation of electronics and software for high impact industries. The company, an arm of the McLaren Group based in Woking, is the official ECU supplier to the F1 world championship, as well as both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and IZOD IndyCar Series.

The company also supplies control and data systems to the automotive, aerospace, transport and healthcare markets.

"McLaren has innovation in its DNA," van Manen said after picking up the award at a ceremony in Trinity College, Dublin, "We recognised the potential of high performance electronics in motorsport over 20 years ago and now apply that know-how to racing teams and engine makers across the world.

"We are also translating knowledge and technology to other sectors to help sick children, improve public transport systems and much more. I am hugely proud to receive this award on behalf of all my colleagues at McLaren and I hope that, together, the members of the Innovation Luminary Academy can serve to inspire future generations of innovators."

F1 rival Red Bull was, indirectly, also able to join McLaren in picking up an award, as 'spacediver' Felix Baumgartner received the Innovation Courage award for the Red Bull Stratos project that saw him break numerous freefall records as he plummeted to earth from the edge of space.

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