Today saw the first official new car of the 2009 Launch Season, which in the current economy is a little muted compared to normal. Even so, this year has the excitement of the new rules changing the look of the cars, making it much more interesting than any January/February for several years!
The first car to be unveiled was the Ferrari F60, the team breaking with recent naming tradition to mark the occasion of their 60th season of competition within Formula One.
Interestingly the car looks much like the F2008 but with the aero devices chopped off, the ugly new wings fitted, and the whole thing generally shrinkwrapped a bit. I’m pleasantly surprised because I was expecting something as ugly as the BMW test hack that has been running around since autumn.
The new rules make for a much cleaner car along the chassis, and you can really see how tightly packaged the rear bodywork is. (insert joke about team PR girl here) Still, that doesn’t mean the extended front wings and compressed rear wings are any easier to look at.
EDIT – here’s a pic from the official Ferrari website www.ferrariworld.com:
Here is an onboard from today’s installation lap at Mugello:
YouTube link found on the DigitalSpy F1 Broadcasting forum (posted by Fergie1).
Expect the remaining teams to launch their cars in this order:
Jan 15 – Toyota
Jan 16 – McLaren
Jan 19 – Renault & Williams
Jan 20 – BMW Sauber
Feb 6 – Red Bull
March – Toro Rosso & Force India
Will they make it?? – The Team Formerly Known As Honda
In other news, the FIA has released the official entry list as it presently stands:
1. L.Hamilton – Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
2. H.Kovalainen – Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
3. K.Raikkonen – Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
4. F.Massa – Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
5. R.Kubica – BMW Sauber F1 Team
6. N.Heidfeld – BMW Sauber F1 Team
7. F.Alonso – ING Renault F1 Team
8. N.Piquet – ING Renault F1 Team
9. J.Trulli – Panasonic Toyota Racing
10. T.Glock – Panasonic Toyota Racing
11. S.Buemi – Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
12. ?? TBA ?? – Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
14. M.Webber – Red Bull Racing Renault
15. S.Vettel – Red Bull Racing Renault
16. N.Rosberg – AT&T Williams Toyota
17. K.Nakajima – AT&T Williams Toyota
18. ?? TBA ?? – Honda Racing F1 *
19. ?? TBA ?? – Honda Racing F1 *
20. A.Sutil – Force India F1 Mercedes
21. G.Fisichella – Force India F1 Mercedes
* To quote the FIA:
The Honda Motor Company announced their withdrawal from Formula One on December 5th, 2008. The Honda Racing team has not withdrawn its entry from the 2009 Formula One World Championship. The FIA understands the team is now for sale.
Car numbers are assigned by Driver’s Champion and team-mate first, followed by teams in Constructors’ Championship order, excluding #13 because these guys are superstitious!
Blog Note: I’ve ditched my planned entry about the FIA / FOTA goings on of last week because I got bored of it, as well as the entry about the Autosport International summary because you can find all that on Autosport.com. I should be back on Thursday for the Toyota launch!