BMW Sauber Reveal new F1.09

BMW F1.09BMW F1.09BMW F1.09 (left) vs BMW F1.08 (right)BMW F1.09BMW F1.09 cockpitBMW F1.09 on trackBMW F1.09 on trackBMW Sauber team present BMW F1.09Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld present the new BMW F1.09BMW F1.09 - team presentationRobert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld unveil new BMW F1.09The new BMW Sauber F1.09 on trackBMW Sauber mechanics prepare the car for its first test-driveThe new BMW Sauber F1.09
BMW Sauber have launched their 2009 challenger, the F1.09, in Valencia, Spain. They are the 6th team to launch their 2009-spec car this month, following car launches from Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota, Renault and Williams-Toyota.

Being the first team to test the new aerodynamic package for the upcoming season – during last year's winter testing – there is practically nothing new to the eye in terms of exterior appearance. The F1.09 shows the same aerodynamics as the other 2009 challengers in terms of front and rear wings (narrower in the rear, wider in the front).

Also new is the KERS unit, which BMW Sauber are planning to actually use at the season opener in Australia. The team have been testing the new technology from as early as last season and seem prepared to start the season KERS-incorporated, although no official announcement was made on the matter.

“Developing a new Formula One car is always exciting, but this time there was something even more special about it. We really were starting from scratch. First and foremost, the switch from grooved tires to slicks means more grip, of course, but it also moves the balance of forces further forward: removing the grooves gives the front tyres proportionally a greater contact area and more grip than the rear tires,” said BMW's technical coordinator Willy Rampf.

“Because the car differs so significantly from its predecessor, we already started work on the first concept studies in February - two months earlier than normal and before the F1.08 had even started its first race. Our aim was to build a car with high aerodynamic efficiency and in so doing claw back as much of the downforce as possible, which the new regulations had taken away,” added Rampf.

BMW's motorsport director Mario Theissen defended the introduction of KERS once again – despite several attacks from championship rivals like Ferrari and Renault – arguing that technological development is what the sport is all about.

“The development of KERS will see Formula One take on a pioneering role for series production technologies going forward. F1 will give a baptism of fire to innovative concepts whose service life and reliability have not yet reached the level required for series production vehicles, and their development will be driven forward at full speed,” said Theissen.

“At BMW we have always used the Formula One project as a technology laboratory for series production. With KERS this approach takes on a whole new dimension. Formula One will reposition itself and undergo a change of image, allowing the sport to take significant strides forward in terms of public acceptance,” added the German official.

The new F1.09 will commence testing as soon as possible, in Valencia.
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