F1 News, Views and Reviews

2009 Technical Change Analysis

For 2009 there are huge changes in terms of aerodynamics and technology for F1.  Here, I shall try and give a “fools” guide to the new changes, for readers to have the opportunity to understand what is different.

Front Wings

One of the first major notable changes about the front wing for 2009 is the width.  In 2008, the average front wing was 1400mm in legnth, now they are 1800mm.  This encompases the front tyres completly, and some drivers have noted that this could cause a lot of punctures with debris.  The wing is also much lower, just 75mm off the ground rather than 150mm in 2008.  Also, all wings have a 500mm centre section.  Things such as “bridge wings” and other long extended aerodyanmic pieces have been banned.  Some cars have small aero structures off the end plates, but nothing on the scale that we have previously seen.  There is also a flap, which can be adjusted by the driver by up to 6mm twice during a lap.

Wide front wing - Renault R29

Wide front wing - Renault R29

McLaren Mp4-24 front wing

McLaren Mp4-24 front wing, sloping nose

Renault fat nosecone

Renault "fat" nosecone

Red Bull Racing end of front wing detail

Red Bull Racing end of front wing detail

Rear Wing

The rear wings on the 2009 cars are noticably thinner and taller than on 2008 cars.  They retain the sweeping back end plates though.  2009 wings are 750mm wide instead of 1000mm in 2008, and are 950mm tall as opposed to 800mm in 2008.  It really stretches the appearance of the back of the car, but will assist in getting some of the lost downforce back.

High rear wing on Williams FW31

High rear wing on Williams FW31

High rear wing on Ferrari F60

High rear wing on Ferrari F60

“Coke Bottle” and Sidepods

There is a notable absence on the sidepods of the aerodynamic clutter that was present in 2008.  Gone are the aerodyanmic bits and pieces on top, the chimneys are also absent.  The winglets from the top of the rear axel has disappeared, showing the much tighter coke bottle design and also illustrating how thin the rear of the car is to the width of the floor.  Some teams are attempting to get some sidepod downforce with outward mounted wing mirrors (Ferrari and Red Bull Racing).

Tight coke bottle and lack of clutter on Renault R29

Tight coke bottle and lack of clutter on Renault R29

Width of floor now noticeable without aerodynamic winglets on Ferrari F60

Width of floor now noticeable without aerodynamic winglets on Ferrari F60

Red Bull RB5 with minor winglet and wide wing mirrors in search for downforce

Red Bull RB5 with minor winglet and wide wing mirrors in search for downforce

Barge Boards

Barge boards have pretty much disappeared into the night now.  Once a prominent feature, they were fiddled with and cut to pieces on 2007 and 2008 cars in the search for extra downforce.  For 2009 the large structures have been banned and are now just a small fairing attached to the front of the sidepod radiator.

BMW Sauber F1.09 without barge boards

BMW Sauber F1.09 without barge boards

Rear Diffuser

The rear diffuser has undegone massive changes and now looks much more like a touring car rear splitter with lots of carbon fibre “hoops” rather than just two ground hugging ones by the rain light.  The diffuser is also mounted much further back, around 350mm further back than before where it was flush with the rear.  Designs from Toyota and Williams have already caused controversy over their legality.

Toyota TF109, the contraversial rear diffuser

Toyota TF109, the contraversial rear diffuser

Toyota TF109 rear diffuser technical analysis

Toyota TF109 rear diffuser technical analysis

Other Changes…

Slick tyres make a return, and KERS systems are introduced to save power which can be used to give drivers a boost on laps.

Slick tyres

Slick tyres

KERS warning on Ferrari F60

KERS warning on Ferrari F60

I hope this was and will continue to be useful for you.

Comparison of the BMW Sauber F1.09 (Left, 2009) and the BMW Sauber F1.08 (Right, 2008)

Comparison of the BMW Sauber F1.09 (Left, 2009) and the BMW Sauber F1.08 (Right, 2008)

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