F1 News, Views and Reviews

Posts tagged “2009 F1 Cars

Trulli Claims New Cars Impossible To Drive In Wet

Jarno Trulli has claimed that the new style 2009 Formula One cars are almost impossible to drive in the rain thanks to their lowered downforce specs.

The Italian, who was testing Toyota’s new TF109 at the Portimao Circuit reckoned that it was just impossible to handle these cars in wet conditions.  He also believed it was a pitlane long problem, not just one with Toyota’s new machinery.

“There is a massive drop in downforce and grip,” he said. “In the conditions it was very difficult to get temperature in the tyres. It was really hard for everyone out there and it was nearly impossible to drive. This is the first feeling!”

He defended the new car in terms of its ability though, and is looking forward to a hot test in Bahrain.

“The car doesn’t seem to have any big problems and it has run really well in the past few days with Kamui (Kobayashi) so I will say we are pretty confident about this year,” he said.

“We just need to get into the normal testing with warm conditions and probably this could be the case in (the next test in) Bahrain.”


BMW Launch Their 2009 Car – The F1.09

BMW Sauber have become the latest F1 team to launch their 2009 car, the F1.09 is the car the team are hoping will secure them at the front of the grid after a successful 2008 season.  Last season saw Robert Kubica (retained) win the Canadian Grand Prix.

The F1.09 is obviously different thanks to the swathes of regulation changes, but we can draw some big similarities and differences with other 2009 cars previously launched.

The car will be driven this season once again by Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica.

The frong wing looks wider than the rest despite its dimensions, probably down to those large proruding pieces on the top and bottom of the end plates.  It is also a three-plane style wing, with a large square nose similar to that of the R29.  The sidepods are very blocky and feature no aerodynamic pieces as stipulated in the rules, making this BMW look very different to all of the others and in some ways incredibly stark.

The car itself, finished in the traditional white/blue/red BMW Motorsport colours, shows real signs of the biting world economic crisis.  It has literally no sponsors.  Petronas Malaysia still are the front runner in terms of advertising space, and probably will stay with the team as they have been involved with Sauber since the original team days.  Intel now have much more space, and T-Systems are on the wings.  BMW’s other major backer, Credit Suisse pulled out of sponsorship earlier on in the week as reported on F1Fanatics.

“Developing a new Formula One car is always exciting, but this time there was something even more special about it. We really were starting from scratch,” said Willy Rampf, team technical director.

“First and foremost, the switch from grooved tyres to slicks means more grip, of course, but it also moves the balance of forces further forward: removing the grooves gives the front tyres proportionally a greater contact area and more grip than the rear tyres.

“Because the car differs so significantly from its predecessor, we already started work on the first concept studies in February – two months earlier than normal and before the F1.08 had even started its first race.

“Our aim. was to build a car with high aerodynamic efficiency and in so doing claw back as much of the downforce as possible, which the new regulations had taken away.”

Meanwhile speculation remains about whether the team will run the KERS system at the first event.

“KERS is still the most challenging  part of the new package to me,” said Dr Mario Theissen during the launch of the new car in Valencia.

“We are still not ready to race, but if I look at what progress we have made in last 12 months, it’s amazing. We have learned so much.

“We are still pushing hard. We are not ready yet. I am sure we will be ready at some point, I don’t know whether we will be ready for Melbourne.”

New car with Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld

New car with Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld

Front end of the F1.09

Front end of the F1.09

Side detail

Side detail

Above

Above

Nick Heidfelds new helmet design

Nick Heidfeld's new helmet design

Comparison between the F1.09 (L) and the F1.08 (R)

Comparison between the F1.09 (L) and the F1.08 (R)


Williams Launch Their 2009 Car – The FW31

Williams have joined Renault in launching their 2009 challenger today in a low key event at the Portimao Circuit in Portugal.

The British based team left test driver and rising star Nico Hulkenberg with the duty to show the new car, named the Fw31 to the presses.

The new machine will give the team optimism to get back to the top with the swathes of new rule changes leaving this car completly different to the FW30.  Still powered by a Toyota engine, this car has a lot in common with the Ferrari F60.  It has a very similar front wing, and aerodynamic winglets protruding from the sidepods where Ferrari houses its wing mirrors.

The car seen here is in an interim test livery and will have a liverly launch nearer to the first round of the season in March.

Philips have become a larger sponsor to the team, who are struggling to find backers in the increasingly tough economic crisis.  Thomson, Oris and RBS still remain on the car, but for RBS how much longer must be questioned as they posted a £20billion loss, the largest loss for a British company ever today.

Front 3/4

Front 3/4

Front

Front

Above

Above

Rear

Rear

Nose Detail

Nose Detail

Sidepod detail

Sidepod detail


Kubica Confident Of Big Wing Smashes In Australia

Robert Kubica has delcared himself confident that in the first few corners of the Australian Grand Prix there is guaranteed to be plnety of carbon fibre flying in the air.

The new aerodynamic regulations have made the front wings much wider, but BMW Sauber have taken this to extremes and their front wing currently is wider than the tyres.  There is a good chance too that any front wing damage is going to cause punctures, so there could be a massive smash into turn 1 given the slick tyres.

“The front wing, it is too wide,” he is quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport,

“I am curious to see how many (wings) will be flying at the first race in Australia,” Kubica added.

The BMW Sauber has rather questionable aesthetics, and after test driver Christian Klien commented that “it was the ugliest thing he had ever seen”, Robert Kubica joked;

“It looks better from inside the cockpit!”



Vettel Fastest On Final Day of Barca Test

Sebastian Vettel was once again fastest on the final day of testing in Barcelona.

The young German was comfortably quickest ahead of Bourdais and Buemi in the Scuderia Toro Rosso’s.

Gary Paffett was 4th for McLaren, he had a KERS device onboard, as did Christian Klien who was 6th.

Jenson Button was high in 5th for Honda, Senna down in 8th completing his first test of an F1 car.

“Driving a Formula One car is really, really nice. And I was enjoying myself more and more each lap. Pushing harder and harder makes you find the edge and when the laptime comes from your effort that’s pretty good.” Senna commented after his test.

He added: “I’m happy. As I said, there was not a lot of pressure on me being matching Jenson or being super close to Jenson. They wanted to see what kind of information I could provide and if I was consistent and if I was quick on my own. I think I ticked all those boxes. I have to see how highly I have ticked those boxes but that’s all I could do in my first day.”

Badoer was 11th for Ferrari, but he was not speed testing, emerly testing the reliability of new products.

The Force India’s propped up the table.

Pos  Driver      Team                      Time      Laps
 1.  Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:19.295  75
 2.  Bourdais    Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)  1:19.839  122
 3.  Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)  1:20.154  115
 4.  Paffett     McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:21.140  81
 5.  Button      Honda                (B)  1:21.387  94
 6.  Klien       BMW Sauber           (B)  1:21.534  88
 7.  Heidfeld    BMW Sauber           (B)  1:21.592  106
 8.  Senna       Honda                (B)  1:21.676  107
 9.  Piquet      Renault              (B)  1:22.148  94
10.  Hulkenberg  Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:22.410  52
11.  Badoer      Ferrari              (B)  1:22.866  120
12.  Fisichella  Force India-Ferrari  (B)  1:23.086  93
13.  de la Rosa  Force India-Ferrari  (B)  1:23.103  88

Bruno Senna testing for Honda

Bruno Senna testing for Honda

Gary Paffett running KERS and Slicks in the 2008 spec McLaren

Gary Paffett running KERS and Slicks in the 2008 spec McLaren

Giancarlo Fisichella

Giancarlo Fisichella

Hondas 2009 front wing detail

Honda's 2009 front wing detail

2009 BMW Sauber

2009 BMW Sauber being driven by Nick Heidfeld

Luca Badoer put new parts through serious mileage in the Ferrari

Luca Badoer put new parts through serious mileage in the Ferrari


Vettel Tops Times On Day 2 In Barca

Sebastian Vettel started his Red Bull Racing career in perfect fashion, topping the times at today’s Barcelona test despite a major brake fire earlier in the day.

The young German led a Red Bull lock out in the top 4 spots, with Sato in 2nd, Bourdais 3rd and Buemi 4th.  Those 3 drivers are fighting for the two seats in the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, and it must be said Sato is doing a terrific job.

Ferrari were lower down the times but they mainly focussed on reliability tests today, and are stripping the 2008 cars of aerodynamics for simulation work.

Pedro de La Rosa took to the track in a Force India, and despite being last, rumour is still circulating that he is going to take one of the two seats at the team for 2009.

Pos  Driver         Team                      Time     Laps
 1.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:19.751   70
 2.  Sato           Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)  1:20.017   79
 3.  Bourdais       Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)  1:20.034   48
 4.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)  1:20.223   99
 5.  Paffett        McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:21.340   31
 6.  Kubica         BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:21.521   76
 7.  Rosberg        Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:21.525  113
 8.  Button         Honda                (B)  1:21.770  110
 9.  Sutil          Force India-Ferrari  (B)  1:22.073   58
10.  di Grassi      Honda                (B)  1:22.283  110
11.  Piquet         Renault              (B)  1:22.348   85
12.  Badoer         Ferrari              (B)  1:22.425  127
13.  Gene           Ferrari              (B)  1:22.772   31
14.  Heidfeld       BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:22.945   81
15.  van der Garde  Renault              (B)  1:23.250   37
16.  de la Rosa     Force India-Ferrari  (B)  1:23.499   86

Button with a 2009 Front Wing Honda

Button with a 2009 Front Wing Honda

Rosberg with a 2009 spec Williams

Rosberg with a 2009 spec Williams

Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel of a Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel of a Red Bull

Klien described the 2009 BMW as The ugliest thing he had ever seen - were inclined to agree

Klien described the 2009 BMW as "The ugliest thing he had ever seen" - we're inclined to agree

Luca Badoer in a 2008 Ferrari, with slicks and a mock-up KERS.  See the cooling box on the side here.

Luca Badoer in a 2008 Ferrari, with slicks and a mock-up KERS. See the cooling box on the side here.

Pedro de La Rosa testing for Force India

Pedro de La Rosa testing for Force India


Barcelona Testing 1st Day – MORNING REPORT

The morning in Barcelona hearalded a new era of Formula One, and BMW Sauber alongside Williams have brought out their 2009 specification cars.  Takuma Sato is testing for Scuderia Toro Rosso,  in an attempt to get his seat.  Luca Badoer is testing 2 different Ferrari’s, one in 09 spec and another in 08 spec with slicks.  McLaren are slick tyre testing.  Red Bull Racing are testing Sebastian Loeb.

FULL REPORT THIS EVENING WITH TIMES.

PHOTOS OF 2009 SPECIFICATION CARS

BMW Sauber

BMW Sauber

BMW Sauber

BMW Sauber

BMW Sauber Front Wing Close-Up

BMW Sauber Front Wing Close-Up

Williams

Williams

Williams

Williams

Photos, timesheets and report to all come tonight.


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