2009 F1 cars compared – Red Bull

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Two cars, one engine, two very different designs

Seven of the cars on the 2009 F1 grid have now been launched, with the addition of Red Bull’s RB5 which was unveiled yesterday. Given that car will likely be the same as the Toro Rosso STR4, we might as well call it eight, with potentially only Force India left to show off their new machine.

Here’s a look at how the RB5 compares to its rivals, including some new pictures of the Renault R29 and McLaren MP4/24.

Front view

Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Renault R29, Williams FW31, BMW F1.09, Red Bull RB5, McLaren MP4/24 (click to enlarge)

The RB5 has a nigh and narrow front nose similar to the TF109’s. And, like Williams and Ferrari, it has appeared with extra flips on the inside of its endplates, prresumably to increase downforce. Other teams may introduce these on their cars before finalising their specification for the first round at Melbourne.

Looking at the front, wing, suspension and sidepod arrangements it seems to me there is already a lot more variety in the 2009 F1 car designs than we have seen in recent years.

Top view

Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Williams FW31, McLaren MP4/24, BMW F1.09, Renault R29 (click to enlarge)

Renault have finally released studio images of the R29 meaning we can get a look at it from above. The immediate impression from glancing at it is that it’s much wider at the read than many of its rivals. But the side-on shot below reveals how low this portion of the bodywork sweeps compared to, say, the McLaren.

Side view

Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, McLaren MP4/24, Williams FW31, BMW F1.09, Renault R29, Red Bull RB5 (click to enlarge)

Renault are still the only team to stick with the ‘shark’s fin’ wing. Red Bull’s sidepods flatten out towards the rear of the car and the non-independent rear suspension (spotted by Mattclinch yesterday) attaches to the car quite far forward. The rear wing is mounted to the diffuser, in another unusual move.

The RB5 only managed 14 laps before breaking down on its debut yesterday. Today it was the fastest of the ’09-spec cars testing at Jerez. So has Adrian Newey conjured up another masterpiece? Or will it prove to be fast-but-frail, like some of Newey’s other designs?

Share your thoughts on the 2009 F1 cars we’ve seen so far below.

2009 Formula 1 cars

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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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22 comments on “2009 F1 cars compared – Red Bull”

  1. The Red Bull nose is so thin and narrow in the front view pictures its amazing…

    1. Almost looks like it’s straight out of last year. I wonder why they’ve gone so thin when so many others have wider noses?

  2. I have to say, for the most part, I really like the looks of the Red Bull car – especially the narrow nose.

  3. I still prefer the McLaren to be honest… although none of the cars are overly ugly as I was expecting the 2009 cars to be,.

  4. I think its interesting to see the difference between the Williams front wing on the side view pictures. Its the only one where the nose actually comes up and over the top of the wing. I suppose time will only tell if their engineers have spotted something everyone else missed!

    Another suprising thing is that I think the Renault Front wing actually looks the best on the side view. Looks really agressive and attack ready!

  5. the williams looks the best along with the mclaren and redbull. THE RANAULT LOOKS UGLY,. BMW front wing is maybe a bit to bulky. Theferrari ok and the toyota is to.

  6. The Red Bull looks the best off the lot, followed closely by the Williams, providing the livery is not drastically altered.

    Funny how the Renault is growing on me..

  7. “So has Adrian Newey conjured up another masterpiece? Or will it prove to be fast-but-frail, like some of Newey’s other designs?”

    did he design the wing that suddenly collapsed on kimi’s a few years ago?

    1. I think Newey wasn’t in McLaren these days(I suppose you reffering to 2004) Newey’s biggest mistake was the front wing(It was too high) of McLaren in 2001. HOwever He made championship-winning cars like Williams in 1992-1997 and McLaren 1997-2000. He even manage to score a second place finish with an VERY uncompetitive car, Leyton House. I personally think he is the best designer in formula 1

  8. I think the shark fin is going to be circuit-specific — I am pretty sure I saw pictures of the Toyota running after it’s introduction with a larger fin on the back.

    (Yeah, there it is: http://www.motorsport.com/photos/select.asp?Y=2009&S=F1&E=Portimao_January_test/Day_1)

    Of the cars released so far, I find the Red Bull the most interesting, the Renault the ugliest, and the Ferrari the most attractive. But I’m partial to Ferraris, so that doesn’t count. :)

  9. Really hoping that the RB5 is as fast as it seems to be on this first day of testing with other teams.

    I really hope McLaren’s pace yesterday is due to them running more fuel or not pushing as hard as everyone else… On the other hand, I kinda hope it’s not, but that Williams and Red Bull really have both built faster cars..!!

  10. The RB5 does look very delicate, especially compared to the Renault and the BMW. The Williams is very Batmobile-esque from above, but that is probably helped by the ‘interim’ colour scheme.
    I wonder if Renault are trying to evoke memories of the ‘Turbo’ days with that front end?
    The new cars are growing on me, the more I see them, but I don’t think I will be completely convinced until I can see them in the flesh!

  11. Maybe the big Williams nose is an attempt to protect the wing in a crash – I lost count of how many wings Nico and Kazuki broke last year!

  12. I have a very strong feeling about this year for Red Bull. The stars are lining up for a very Newey-esque scenario with the technical regulation rewrites and a driver in Vettel who has supreme car control.

  13. Paige, i feel the same

  14. I think the Ferrari looks the best, followed closely by the Toyota and the McLaren.

    Im wondering who will be Ferrari’s front runner for this year after Massa’s efforts last year..

  15. I think Ferrari and Red Bull are the more beautiful ones, however on the other hand Renault has made a hideous car, reminds me of a lawn mover…

  16. These cars look so much cooler than last years. Hope the racing is just as good.

  17. The cars dont look half as bad as i first thought they did, even the Renault is growing on me!!

    Unsurprisingly i think the Mclaren looks good, it always seem to no matter that they do to it. I do like the Williams though, but part of that is the interim livery i think, and it always seems to look a bit better in the winter colours.

    I think its interesting how all the teams appear to have completely different noses – I dont remember them all being quite so different in previous years. There is not two cars who have the same so far.

    The BMW, despite being one of my two favourite teams is not one of my favourite cars – its very plain in comparison to the others, but i suppose its nice and uncomplicated – title winning hopefully!

  18. About the large front wings: Kubica is expecting a lot of wings to be flying off at the first start of the season.

    The Williams is still the best looking car IMO.

  19. from many of the pictures i have seen from tests after launch the mclaren looks to have a slightly wider rear wing it doesn’t look like it on these but it does on the test pics also it looks like red bull have used their rear wing as part of an add on for the diffuser at the back with the wing going much lower than other teams hope that Williams car is up to standard this year they need some better luck

  20. The Willams is a bit random but my favorite is the Ferrari and the Red Bull. I love the design of the Ferrari its so different and unique. The Red Bull is Awesome!

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