Akebono Brake has been named as an official supplier of brake calipers and master cylinders for the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team.

Akebono established Akebono Advanced Engineering (UK) Ltd. (AAE) in March 2007 to support the McLaren team, with the two jointly developing and testing brake calipers and master cylinders with the aim of raising technical capabilities in braking.

"When brakes are mentioned, people generally tend to think of 'stopping' and 'deceleration,' while in fact brake systems are one of the most essential components in vehicles, as they enable them to drive quickly and handle smoothly in a safe manner," Hisataka Nobumoto, president and CEO of Akebono said. "To achieve our long-standing goal of being brake experts, we have challenged ourselves in various categories of motor racing, as it is the optimal arena to develop superior brake systems."

"The first automobile with an engine is said to have been developed by Karl Benz in 1886. The first automobile race called a Grand Prix took place in 1894 on a 130 kilometer course between Paris and Rouen. But in the automotive industry's approximate 120-year-history, a race car equipped with a Japanese brake system has never stood once on the Grand Prix victory podium.

"At Akebono, we felt that to develop the ultimate brake system, our only choice was to enter Formula 1 with the world's most prestigious and illustrious team, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. This desire led to the joint development and supply of brake systems starting from the 2007 season.

"We previously believed it would take three years to develop products that could stand on the victory podium. But since we have been fortunate enough to work with the best team and the best drivers in the world, not only have our products stood on the podium - they have already claimed victories. These Grand Prix wins with Japanese brake systems represent a first in the 120-year history of the automotive industry. There can indeed be no greater honour for us."

McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh added that he was delighted to see Akebono join the team's portfolio of partners and was looking forward to further success in the future.

"We are immensely proud of this partnership with Akebono, who join our World Class group of partners and suppliers," he said. "Vodafone McLaren Mercedes prides itself on forging technical collaborations with the best organisations in the World by integrating leading-edge technology into our race cars.

"Akebono has proven its capability to deliver increased performance and has contributed greatly to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' Grand Prix wins this season so far. We are looking forward to further developing technologies with a long-term relationship with Akebono."



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