F1 Teams Announce 2009-Car Launches
Under the circumstances, both teams will have only one testing session to get to know their 2009-spec cars on track. That will also be Webber's only off-season testing session with RBR, as he missed out on all the winter testing so far due to his leg injury in a cycling accident in November.
The two teams are not the only ones who'll start off their on-track preparations for next season only days before the Australian Grand Prix, as Force India also confirmed they will not sign up for another testing session until March 2009. Consequently, Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil will also drive the new car for a few laps before the season opener.
Most F1 teams have opted for low-key launches of their 2009-spec cars, while testing the machineries on-track as early as mid-January. Williams F1 have announced their first test on the 2009 car – the FW31 – on January 19, at the Algarve Motor Park.
Renault will join Williams F1 in launching their R29 model on January 19. The French manufacturer will unveil the new machinery at the Portimao track. Toyota will also take part at the Algarve testing session, after previously releasing photos of the TF109 (instead of a traditional press-conference launch) in order to reduce costs.
Ferrari will, however, hold their traditional launch on January 15, while followed by McLaren 24 hours later (at their Woking headquarters). German constructor BMW will also unveil their 2009-spec car at the Algarve track a few days later.