Tag Link: 2009 f1 cars


The Formula 1 2009 grid is starting to really thrash out now, with another two additions today in the shape of the Renault R29 and Williams FW31. The response by a lot of F1 fans to the current crop hasn't been entirely rapturous - new rules and regulations have led to the cars taking on a different look to recent years. And while the Renault is notably affected, the Williams is a much cleaner looking car, although the smart dark blue livery is said to be an interim one.

F1 aerodynamics have been changed with wider front wings and dramatically narrower rear ones. It's led to a big change in the look of 2009's F1 cars, with proportions altered from the lower, sleeker cars of recent years. Extra aerodynamic aids and winglets have been banned, although the front wing can be adjusted twice a lap by extra buttons on the steering wheel.

McLaren's MP4-24, Ferrari's F60 and Toyota's TF109 are similarly styled although the change to new rules has perhaps affected the Prancing Horse most. The front and back appear to have differing styling leading to a loss in style over classic Ferrari F1 cars of old. This is perhaps reflected in the naming of the car - instead of the predicted F2009, fitting the team's traditional naming pattern, it's F60.

Other changes include the 2.4-litre V8 engine, which is limited to 18,000rpm (a 1000rpm cut) and mated to a seven-speed gearbox while each unit has to last three races rather than two. Each driver gets eight engines to last the season. Maximum weight for the cars is 600kg on race day, including driver, water, lubricant and cameras. An extra five kilos is allowed during qualifying.

Cars will have 13in wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza rubber, the first time slicks have been used since 1998. Other big news comes in the shape of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) which includes regenerative brakes, as F1 takes the first steps to cost cutting and energy saving. Still not a world-saving sport, but it's a push in the right direction if it's to have a future. The unveiling of Toyota's car is great news, dispelling rumours that the team could go the way of Honda.

Current champ Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen continue at McLaren while the F60 will be piloted by Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen. The 2008 line-up also remains unchanged for Toyota with Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock this year's drivers.

Fernando Alonso has been a rumoured replacement for Raikkonen for some time, with talk of a 2010 swap currently doing the rounds. Kimi is scheduled to tackle the Arctic Lapland rally later this month, the driver perhaps feeling out future options. For now, Alonso joins Nelson Piquet Jnr at the helm of the Renault with Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima taking the reins of the Williams FW31.

The cars left to be revealed are those from BMW Sauber, Red Bull and Force India. A question mark still remains over Honda and the two places on the F1 grid its team occupies.

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Renault, Williams, McLaren, Ferrari and Toyota reveal their striking new Formula 1 cars

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