Launch Season: BMW Sauber F1.09

BMW Sauber F1.09

Earlier this week the new BMW Sauber was launched at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain.

Like the other ’09 cars it is a much cleaner design than the ’08 car, although that wasn’t difficult in the case of the 2008 BMW! Also in common with other teams there are fewer sponsor logos on this car. Long-time backer Credit Suisse, who supported the team long before BMW supplied Williams let alone Sauber, have withdrawn their backing. Given the present condition of the banking sector globally this isn’t a huge surprise, it is maybe more surprising that RBS remains with Williams. It also looks like the Intel sponsorship has disappeared. Again in common with most other teams, BMW Sauber insist they remain on a solid financial footing.

On the whole this looks like a fairly ordinary car compared to the more radical designs of the McLaren and Renault, say. The nose is conventional albeit higher than in previous years, there is no engine cover fin, and the front wing is one of the most basic we’ve seen – particularly the endplates.

This team is widely tipped to continual their steady rise in performance and become contenders for race wins rather than picking up when McLaren and Ferrari falter. They need to be wary of Renault who had a resurgence of form towards the end of last year.

BMW are believed to be the most advanced in their development of the KERS system yet are still claiming they may not use it for the first race or two. I’m not sure I believe that.

Here’s a comparison to the 2008 car, kindly set up by BMW:

Sorry if the pics appear slightly fuzzy, I think I buggered up the upload and resizing and I’m not messing around with it any more, it is Friday night…

There are further details at www.bmw-sauber-f1.com/ – though be warned the site doesn’t work well in Firefox.

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