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.”