2009 F1 testing: January 19th (pictures)

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Ferrari opted for a private test at its home track - Kimi Raikkonen drove

Six F1 teams were in action at two different circuits today. Ferrari made a last-minute decision not to appear at the group test in Portugal and instead worked on the F60 at its home circuit, Mugello.

Here are notes and pictures from the tests.

Algarve Motor Park, Portimao, Portugal

Best individual lap times (unofficial)

1. Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR3 – 1’41.528 – 65 laps
2. Pedro de la Rosa – McLaren-Mercedes MP4-24 – 1’46.076 – 28 laps
3. Hulkenberg – Williams-Toyota FW31 – 1’46.335 – 28 laps
4. Piquet – Renault R29 – 1’48.907 R29 – 33 laps
5. Kobayashi – Toyota TF109 – 1’50.989 – 46 laps


Renault launched its R29 with both drivers present but only Nelson Piquet Jnr doing the driving.


Williams launched the FW31 and Nico Hulkenberg was first to drive the new car. He went off at turn seven, causing the day’s only interruption.


Last Saturday’s test having been cancelled, Pedro de la Rosa gave the new McLaren MP4-24 its first outing. He used a 2008-spec rear wing.


Kamui Kobayashi drove the new Toyota TF109. He is racing in the GP2 Asia championship at Bahrain this weekend.

Red Bull

The only team present at the test using a 2008-specification car, Sebastien Buemi was easily fastest in the wet conditions.



Suspicion clouds Ferrari’s 11th-hour decision not to attend the Algarve test and use its Mugello track instead. Officially it blamed the expected rain at Portimao, but it rained at Mugello as well.

Rumours suggest the team wanted to make modifications to its exhaust system behind closed doors, as it may not comply with the regulations in its original guise. However Ferrari also experienced a problem with its front wing during the shakedown test last week, which developed a crack due to a component failure, and they may have chosen to stay closer to the factory to allow them to use new parts.

Kimi Raikkonen handled the testing duties despite his tonsil problem. No times were released.

Pictures from today’s F1 testing

See here for pictures of the Renault and Williams in testing:

Read more: Are pre-season F1 testing times any use in predicting form for 2009?

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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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14 comments on “2009 F1 testing: January 19th (pictures)”

  1. I hope that todays gap between Toro Rosso and McLaren is not the indication of the final speed of this new cars.

    1. Everyone’s been saying that although a lot of speed will be lost due to the smaller wings, the slick tyres will make it back up. But that presumably won’t be the case in wet conditions as they had in Portimao today, so will 2009 F1 cars be much slower in the wet than 2008 cars were?

  2. Have the Toyotas always been using the “shark-fin” cover?

  3. Yeah I guess Keith is right, slick tyres do make up for the loss of grip, so I guess in wet conditions we are looking at even greatly reduced speeds.

  4. hmmmm i think ferrari tested at home to hide their track times

    1. Todd, Kimi’s times are given on autosport.

      Kimi Raikkonen took to the track with the F60 for the first time to complete 54 laps with a best time of 1:34.430.

      The team reported no technical problems.

      Compare this with the F2007 and F2008 which used to have a best time of just above 1 minute. the 30 or so extra seconds can be attributed to:
      1. Rain at Mugello.
      2. Kimi inexplicably using grooves as seen in the pictures.
      3. Kimi partially unfit due to some tonsil problems.
      4. This being the very first test after the launch.

  5. Both the tracks do not have a bench mark time, but a rough study of the recent past can give us the approximate V8 lap times of each circuits in the normal whether. If we can (I’m afraid this can’t indicate anything as the times are set at different weather conditions) compare the times of 2009 cars with the so called reference times,

    Algarve Motor park – Portimao Portugal (4.7 kms)
    Approx. lap time (with partly 2009 setup McLaren & Ferrari cars from 15-18 Dec 08 tests) – 1m 30s

    An optimized 2008 car would have clocked less than 1m28s (The fastest time on the closing day of the test was 1m28.993s by Pedro De La Rosa on his MP4-23, partly set-up for 2009 regulations) on this circuit or even lesser.

    If We can keep Buemi’s time as an indicator for, how a 2008 spec car would have clocked in this weather, (STR ran their 2008 spec car, I believe they might have at least emulated the 2009 downforce levels) then, 2009 spec cars are approximately 4.5s slower then 2008 spec cars in wet weather. In due course of development and when the cars pushed to the limits comfortably this difference will certainly reduce.

    I expect 2009 spec cars to be approximately 1 to 2 seconds slower than the 2008 spec cars in a normal weather run, and 3 seconds slower per lap in wet whether conditions.

    My dry weather predictions could well be wrong – and I wish it be the case. With slicks in picture, the cars may prove to be faster than what I expect ;) but, as we all know they can never be faster than the 2008 cars.

    Here is the study about Mugello

    Mugello – Italy (5.245 km)
    Approx. lap time with 2008 setup (F2008 run by Valentino Rossi on 21 Nov 08) – 1m22.55s

    Unofficial time from Mugello (19/01/09)
    1. K. Räikkönen (Ferrari) – 01:34.430, 54 laps

    There is nothing to compare or keep as a reference for this test. From what we’ve observed in Algarve Park, if Ferrari were to match the McLarens at Algarve Park a 2008 spec car should have clocked around 01m30s/31s at Mugello on the same lap in which Kimi had set the pace… who knows what the case is? ;)

  6. I wonder what it would take from the other teams or the FIA to ban Ferrari from using its own test tracks?
    Since F1 these days is all about openess and ‘transparency’, and how Luca has been dominating the other teams, perhaps its about time some of the first tests by all the teams were done at Mugello – that would cut costs too since they wouldn’t have to pay a separate circuit, and could use Ferrari’s on-site facilities…..

    1. I think it is unfair, to ban Ferrari from using their own test track. They invested once on it, so they are trying to put it in use instead of abandoning it.

      Rather FIA should ask Ferrari to let other teams use the track to test their cars by paying a reduced fee to Ferrari. Thereby reducing the money the teams spend on testing, reduced fee will make no impact on Ferrari… actually it would assist them with their revenue, they earn while they test.

      1. I think there would be quite an uproar if the FIA passed a rule requiring teams to pay money to Ferrari in order to test their cars!

        1. Keith I agree with you on that, but from the investor’s point of view – they’ll make use of their property unless the governing body asks them not to! If what we need is to bring all the teams to the same level, in order to have a closer race – well, some of the top teams have to sacrifice their advantages (teams should stop using private circuits). If such a thing has to happen, then before imposing rules on one team FIA should investigate all the other teams’ advantages and do it fairly… hope this is never going to happen ;)

    2. @ mani – I appreciate where you are coming from but where does this end? I suspect Ferrari employ these delaying and blocking tactics so as to ensure they can get all sorts of extra structures and systems in place so when the cost cutting initiatives are implemented, then they have it all in place anyway’s and they are not affected negatively to the same degree as other teams just starting out…

  7. That Ferrari still looks strange…

  8. Just a question: It looks like Kimi’s car number is also number 3, similar to Massa’s at Mugello post-launch. I understand there was confusion with the FIA number assignments, but why did they drive with the same car number?

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