2009 McLaren, Ferrari and Toyota F1 cars side-by-side (Pictures)

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McLaren MP4-24 and Toyota TF109 front wings (click to enlarge)
McLaren MP4-24 and Toyota TF109 front wings (click to enlarge)

With McLaren’s MP2-24 unveiled yesterday we can now see how the first three 2009 F1 cars to be launched compare.

Here’s some close-up comparisons of the new McLaren alongside the Ferrari F60 and Toyota TF109.

Front wing

McLaren only provided two studio photographs of the MP4-24 making comparisons with the other cars launched so far a little tricky. We will hopefully get a better impression of their 2009 F1 challenger when it begins testing at Portimao in Portugal today.

In the meantime, a side-by-side comparison of its front wing with the Toyota TF109’s is possible (above, click to enlarge). F1 Technical notes the advanced development of the MP4-24’s front wing:

While Ferrari attempted a modest double decker wing and Toyota displayed a basic version, the new McLaren wing looks ready to be raced. The main panel features sweeping curves starting from a minimum-height horizontal leading edge. The red coloured moveable flaps are similarly curved in an attempt to improve the airflow in the inside of the front wheels, while maximising downforce ahead of it.

View from above

Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109 and McLaren MP4-24 top-down view (click to enlarge)
Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109 and McLaren MP4-24 top-down view (click to enlarge)

Without a proper top-down shot of the MP4-24, comparisons here area little tricky. We can, however, see that McLaren has not emulated the small constructions Ferrari and Toyota have in front of their sidepods. The sidepod apertures are also interesting, with an oval shape distinctly different to that seen on the TF109 and F60.

The MP4-24 doesn’t seem to be anything like as narrowly waisted at the rear as the F60 does.

The difference in the MP4-24’s suspension is striking. This picture gives a closer view of McLaren’s suspension configuration:

McLaren MP4-24 suspension
McLaren MP4-24 suspension


Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109 and McLaren MP4-24 side-by-side (click to enlarge)
Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109 and McLaren MP4-24 side-by-side (click to enlarge)

The McLaren’s front nose is shorter than the Ferrari’s but longer than the Toyota’s. It looks taller, though that impression is slightly distorted in the above photograph by the endplate behind it.

The MP4/24 has a longer engine cover fin that its rivals and a much larger section cut from the rear endplate (which I think does a lot for its aesthetic appeal). They’ve also carried over the roll hoop cutaway section from the MP4/23 not seen on either of the other cars.

On Monday we’ll get the see the Renault R29 and Williams FW31 for the first time, giving us half a grid of 2009-spec cars to examine.

2009 F1 car launches

Images copyright: www.mclaren.com, Toyota F1 World and Ferrari spa

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “2009 McLaren, Ferrari and Toyota F1 cars side-by-side (Pictures)”

  1. Thanks for all the car launch updates, the articles are very interesting reading! I wonder if Mclaren have missed a trick with the sidepod constructions Ferrari & Toyo have included. Roll on Monday for Renault & Williams, looking forward to seeing them here!

    1. Thanks! Here’s Mark Hughes’s explanation for the sidepod wings on the F60:

      Ferrari, by moving the sidepods further back, has created a narrow ‘blind spot’ not covered in the regulations, into which it has inserted this fin that in the process of creating more downforce will also give it a more choppy airflow wake.

  2. I wonder if come the first race, the McLaren will also have those still ugly sidepod constructions like the Ferrari and Toyota?

  3. Is it me or the Ferrari car is much bigger than the Mclaren or the Toyota
    Also looking forward to see the Renault and the Williams here!!!

  4. Wow, on initial glances I thought the McLaren looked the best, but I actually do prefer the F60 (phew!) when compared side by side.

    Striay/Iceman – the Ferrari has more orthographic photographs than the Toyota and McLaren (i.e. less distortion on the elevations), which can make it appear bigger. It could actually be bigger in reality, but the photographs probably give this illusion off.

  5. It is surprising how HUGE these cars are up close. If the cars where smaller, perhaps the overtaking could be easier, and racetracks could be more natural in their layout

  6. Arthur, they are strikingly small when you see them live.

    Phew! So far only BMW managed a really ugly one! Even the Toyota has some looks, and I must say the Ferrari and especially the McLaren look even better than the last year’s. In 2008 they were carying so much furniture on top one could hardly see the car behind :-)

    1. ukk, As far as I know BMW is due to unveil their 2009 car on Tuesday the 20th.

      I’m not so sure that the 2009 cars will look as same as the cars driven in the autumn test period.

      Anyway we will get to know this in 3 days.


  7. I’m not very technical, so Keith or any other, will the much larger sidepods of the McLaren slow it down in comparison to the other cars?

    1. No idea, sorry!

    2. This should help answer your question:

      McLaren have taken a fairly predictable approach as far as the front of the sidepod goes. During the course of 2008, the team often partially closed the radiator air inlet of the sidepod as reduce the car’s overall drag on circuits that require less cooling. Since the new engines will require even less cool air than last year due to the drop in maximum rpm, the smaller inlet could be made a standard feature of the new car. As a result, the undercut could be smoothed to improve its interaction with the new, smaller barge board.

  8. It’s already interesting to see how the rules are being stretched or exploited for loop holes in my view. For example, take a look at the Toyota front wing. The side of the front wing has what I think are pronounced arches that curve inward like semi circle. I guess the rules say the front wing should be ‘x’ centimetres wide but perhaps don’t specify that the actual front wing flap width part should be that same ‘x’ width as well, or perhaps someone can clear that up? I suspect we will be seeing marked changes before the cars get to Oz and indeed obviously soon thereafter as teams steal and enhance ideas from each other.

  9. Believe or not, I like the Toyota the most.

  10. The Worst Ferrari ever rolled out from Maranello, I think.
    The Mclaren MP4 24 looks better even

  11. i would like to see the same lens used for each comparison shot.
    Mclaren looks like it was designed by Oakley.
    Ferrari looks like a next gen weapon!
    Toyota look like they need Ross Brawn!
    The track will tell, so will Brundle.
    can’t wait!

  12. Ferrari is the nicest car

  13. Whats the story with the suspension on the Mclaren? All its elements extend forward while the Toyota and Ferrari have symmetrical layouts. It looks mad.

    1. It’s just the perspective from where the photograph has been taken from.
      There’s no real top down image of the McLaren yet so it’d probably look the same from the same angle.

      I’m still not sure about the rear wings, they look a little odd but I prefer the cleaner look of these cars now they haven’t got so many aerodynamic devices hanging off them.

      I think the McLaren would look better if they used the silver from the Mercedes badge instead of the silvery grey they use on most of the car.

  14. Interesting that while these launch photos show a traditional engine cover, the photos from the track debut on the 18th they’ve already changed it and put a shark fin on.
    So the first change in spec happened in 24 hours, a record?

    track debut photos available at formula1.com

    1. by 24 hours I of course mean 3 days.

      But still, no tests and they’ve already brought on a change.

  15. Sumesh James
    6th April 2009, 7:37

    This photos are very much intresting

Comments are closed.