2009 F1 car comparisons: BMW

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BMW F1.09, Toyota TF109 and Ferrari F60 cockpits
BMW F1.09, Toyota TF109 and Ferrari F60 cockpits

BMW’s F1.09 is the last new F1 car we’ll see this month. Here’s a look at the car BMW hope to challenge for the championships with up alongside the other 2009 models.


Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Renault R29, Williams FW31 and BMW F1.09 (click to enlarge)
Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Renault R29, Williams FW31 and BMW F1.09 (click to enlarge)

BMW are definitely in the square-shaped front nose club along with most teams besides Toyota and McLaren. This front-on shot shows up the different style of the BMW side pods, which rise up where they extend away from the driver.

The F1.09 also has some unusual flip-ups behind the front wing and in front of the front wheel highlighted in this close-up:

BMW F1.09 front wing detail
BMW F1.09 front wing detail


Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Mclaren MP4-24, Williams FW31, BMW F1.09 (click to enlarge)
Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Mclaren MP4-24, Williams FW31, BMW F1.09 (click to enlarge)

The BMW side pod looks similar in height to the McLaren’s. But where the MP4-24’s flicks up into an integrated exhaust design, the F1.09’s ends with a section of exposed exhaust. It seems that the exhaust configuration on the Ferrari F60 as it was launched did not comply with the regulations and they are believed to be modifying it at present. Will BMW have to do something similar?

There is a split between the teams in terms of which ones of side pod wings and which ones have ‘clean’ designs. BMW, McLaren and Renault are in the ‘clean’ camp; Ferrari, Toyota and Williams have all created some version of the pod wings.


Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Williams FW31, Mclaren MP4-24, BMW F1.09 (click to enlarge)
Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Williams FW31, Mclaren MP4-24, BMW F1.09 (click to enlarge)

BMW, like all Ferrari’s rivals, don’t seem to have produced as tightly-packaged a car as Ferrari have done with the F60. It reminds me of one of my all-time favourite Ferraris, the 1989 640.

Their front suspension layout is closer to the Ferrari/Toyota norm than the unusual layout found on McLaren’s MP4-24.

Quite a few people have commented that the 2009 F1 cars all look very similar. I think in the case of the front and rear wings that is largely the case, but there are a lot of detail differences, particularly in the rear three-quarters.

The files these images are based on can be found on the F1 Fanatic drop.io if you want to have a closer at look at them and do some image manipulation of your own. Be sure to post your results in the drop.io so we can all have a look, and if you find something interesting I’ll be sure to include it in the next round-up.

2009 Formula 1 cars

NB. Apologies to those of you having trouble with some of the larger images not displaying when you click on them – I am working on the problem.

Image copyright: BMW – BMW.ag; Toyota – Toyota F1 World; Ferrari – Ferrari spa; Williams – Williams/LAT; Renault – Renault/LAT; McLaren – www.mclaren.com

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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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10 comments on “2009 F1 car comparisons: BMW”

  1. This has absolutely nothing to do with the 09 F1 machines, but Mike Conway to IRL for anyone who followed the guy in GP2.


    1. Thanks Steve – I’ve got it in today’s links-round-up!


  2. The Ferrari exhaust pipes have already been modified. They only used the 2008 spec exhaust pipes at the shakedown. The ones they are testing with now is much shorter.

    The 2009 cars have various different approaches, it is quite interesting to see how the team interpret the rules. The longer you look at the cars the more you get used to the front and rear wing. The Ferrari and the William are absolutely gorgeous cars, especially that Ferrari.

    1. I noticed, but I would appreciate if someone can post what really is the regulation constraint regarding these exhaust pipes? Does exposed exhaust in someway (or partially) serve as a replacement for the gills in 2008 cars (banned for 2009)??

  3. i think the ferrari is wider in the front wheels than in the rears.. have you noticed?? or is just photo effect ??

    1. Must be a photo effect Jose. Otherwise the whole wheel alingment would be wrong with the front facing outwards and the read inwards the chassis. The same goes to the beemer by the way…

  4. MM is my personal fave looking machine, very closely followed by the Ferrari. I wonder how much the machines that take to the grid come the first race will resemble these. I’m still hopeful there will be some drastic changes to the Renault! ;P

  5. McLaren in my opinion is the best looking. The exhaust casings are gorgeous.
    I’m curious about large noses of Renault and Williams. Interesting to see if large nose cars (like McLaren of ’80s first half) will be back.

    1. I personally like the look of the Toyota. i know that they havent changed the design but i think this is the best combination of the red/white and the Panasonic blue scheme

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