2009 Formula 1 cars look – The most obvious differences

Most of the Formula 1 fans already know that the new 2009 F1 regulations especially those affecting cars’ aero will bring some radical changes to the look of the Formula 1 car. Many are asking how will the 2009 F1 cars look. So let’s summarize the most obvious and visible changes.

Rear wings:

This is how the wings look this year (the shapes and angles change from track to track):

2008 F1 rear wing

And this is how it is likely to look in 2009 – higher and narrower, similar to the wings used in early 90s (picture shows Williams in 1993).


Rear Wing 1993 Williams

Front wings:

Here is the detail of 2008 wing (McLaren):

2008 F1 front wing (McLaren)

Next year they are likely to look more like the early 90s wings, much wider. They will not be the same, I marked with black line the likely shape of the flaps. (The photo is originally 1993 McLaren). The other change is that these flaps will be adjustable. Drivers will be allowed to adjust them twice a lap up to 6 degrees.

1993 fron wing (McLaren)

Tyres from grooves to slicks:

The drastic reduction of aero downforce will be compensated by return of the slick tyres. Can’t wait …

2008 grooved tyres:

Grooved F1 tyres 2008

Slick tyres during 2008 tests ahead of their return in 2009:

2008 test - slick tyres

Cleaner looking chassis:

All the aero add-ons – wings, winglets, ears, antlers, horns will be banned. So all these ugly structures will be gone:

BMW Antlers 2008
BMW Sauber – The Antlers

BMW horns 2008
BMW Sauber – The Horns

Honda Dumbo wings
Honda – The Dumb(o) Ears

Honda horns 2008
Honda – The Horns

McLaren wings and winglets
McLaren – The wings and winglets and horns at its worst

And here is a visual of the complete 2009 F1 car – artist’s imagination. It may not look like this at the end (image found at F1Technical.net forum):

2009 F1 Car Visual

2009 F1 Car Visual

For full text of 2009 F1 regulations (proposed) check this post.

Photos: Williams/LAT, Daimler Media, Force India F1, Honda Racing F1, BMW Motorsports

26 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Black ZeddNo Gravatar says:

    Good lord finally we’ll see a halt to these excessive sculptures. Still remember how sensational it was when McLaren introduced their horn last season? This season those aggressive designs are everywhere.

    Well, next season even the tyres will go back to the very basic look. Can’t wait for the rainy races.

    Black Zedds last blog post..Case Studies: Being a Creative Capitalist

  2. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Some illustrator did a good design for F1 Racing latest issue, somebody check it there and will see that it’s clearly different, but not that radical. I like the sidepods design there, really atractive for these racing cars :)

    Kotenoks last blog post..Jose

  3. cdNo Gravatar says:

    so…basically we’ll be back in 1993 :)

    Actually, the F1 Racing illustration looked like a really nice car. All of the sculpting of today’s car and no of the goofy aero.

  4. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    Short of providing a spec body, how can they stop everyone from spending millions focusing on the aerodynamics of the car. Sure, they can eliminate all the “winglets” protruding from everywhere…but how can they stop teams from shaping the bodywork to get every aerodynamic advantage possible. What does this achieve? I do not see if reducing costs.

  5. [...] rear wings will be made taller and narrower, and front wings will be wider. F1 Wolf has tried to describe what the new cars will look like. If you have a copy of the August 2008 issue of F1 Racing, you [...]

  6. [...] that Williams ran yesterday at Jerez may be the first indication of things to come. As expected, return to early 1990s [...]

  7. [...] though due to rain). There are only four more fly-away races left this season and then the grooves (along with other ugly things) will be gone, hopefully for good. Hated by many fans the grooves have been with us for 11 seasons [...]

  8. [...] bakvingen, som börjar se löjligt smal ut.. Ungefär som tidigt 90-tal, F1wolf har en jämförelse här. Tror kanske att det bara är bakvingen på den där Williamsen som är 2009, resten kan vara [...]

  9. Gil BrazilNo Gravatar says:

    So late these changes. How ugly the cars became this year! To the next we´ll see clean bodyworks, slick tyres and emotion will be back. The human (pilots) will make difference. As we say in Brazil, the ´´half wheel´´ won´t have place to go. The talent will be welcome back.

  10. [...] Here’s a website discussing more changes for 2009. 2009 Formula 1 cars look – The most obvious differences | F1 Wolf [...]

  11. [...] A maioria das imagens e inforações foram adaptadas de F1 Wolf. Exceto o protótipo do carro para 2009 que foi retirado do fórum F1 [...]

  12. [...] effectus on Mon 06-10-2008 Thee Best Anniversary Gift Ever! Saved by kynatro on Mon 06-10-2008 2009 Formula 1 cars look – The most obvious differences Saved by minipark on Mon 06-10-2008 WAES – 142 Formula Grant Notices/Reminders Saved by kamichat [...]

  13. [...] tested by Williams in Jerez. Costa’s description is very much in line with the expectations – 2009 Formula 1 cars look – The most obvious differences – although nobody has spoken yet about new front wings coming off easily . I must admit that I [...]

  14. GregNo Gravatar says:

    Ok, i see a trend with all these posts and that the general consensus is that the new cars will be very good looking and allow for better racing, im going to throw a cat amongst the pigeons… lol

    I think this year the cars look as good as ever, i think the little aero additions each of the teams individualise the cars. A lot of the appeal of formula 1 i think comes from the competition between the manufacturers and i think that the FIA is taking away a lot of the variables the teams can play with. Formula 1 is slowly heading in the way of the A1 GP which loses its appeal due to the look of the cars being too sterile and there arent any elements of innovation that teams can play with. This has been an area where formula 1 has been strong in for years. Yes, KERS is an excellent idea but i dont agree with next years aero or the proposed standardised engines for 2010, again, it takes away the variables, Mr Mosely believes that this is going to reduce the cost of F1 but if they take away all the design elements on which the teams can demonstrate their technical innovation, then what is the point of them racing in Formula 1? part of the appeal of formula 1 has always been the extravagance of the cars and the fact that one little aero fin can take off a hundredth of a second. For me personally, the appeal of Formula 1 lies with the constructors just as much as the drivers, dont take that away.

    ide also like to add that the cars look super sexy this year, like i said, the aero additions make for a great spectacle and showcase the techincal innovation of the teams

    • colinNo Gravatar says:

      You hit the nail on the head. took the words right out my mouth what is the point if they all have the same i have watched f1 for years but this is putting me off i want to see the teams competing and coming out with new ideas not all driving the same cars. i am watching for the teams to compete not just the drivers. why is it people always want to go backwards when we should be going fowards!!!

  15. ArildNo Gravatar says:

    I agree with you, Greg. !00%. The cars look amazing, but it’s function over form now.

    I also think racing was better in the late 80′s early 90′s, and i like the cars from that period better.
    Would like those regulations to come back, 1.5litre turbo’s no limit boost, just a cap on how much fuel they allowed to use during a race weekend. Also in the late 90′s when they had 1 engine for each session was fun, running experimental engine in practice and qualifying. It was cutting edge back then, teams and manufacturer took risks.

    I miss those times!

  16. [...] And when we talk about 2009 F1 cars, Alfonso Martinez, head of the Spanish arm of the technology consulting firm Altran, working closely on the design of 2009 Renault car – the R29 –  says that we are in for a shock when we see the first 2009 Formula 1 cars. To get some hints about what to expect check these 2 older posts – sneak peak and the main differences. [...]

  17. [...] 2009 Formula 1 cars look – The most obvious differences [...]

  18. [...] season, very different from the 2008 Formula 1 machinery. So far all we have had were speculations, more speculations, and few photos of Williams wings. Today BMW Sauber put their new wings to test (and public [...]

  19. MaxNo Gravatar says:

    Well, quite frankly the new wings look bloody diabolical. What a mess! – The rear wing is like a ladder (narrow and tall) and as for the front wing, it covers the whole front end of the car, including the front tires! – It couldn’t have looked more like a toy if you tried any harder!

    The Williams 2009, which I thought previously looked all wrong, now looks so far to be the best looking! The BMW Sauber looks like an old dog lol!

    I just hope these changes do somthing very good because th car will just look a complete laughing stock!

  20. benjiNo Gravatar says:

    F1 is now a contrived retro formula. My Honda Civic has more modern technology!!! I blame Max Mosley. That man deserves a good thrashing Except he’d probably enjoy it.

    • eddNo Gravatar says:

      Too bad you’d have to buy all that tech off of honda seeing as they’re not in f1 next year.
      I loved the ’90′s racing for what it’s worth and i’m glad to see it going back to driver skill. You never know, we might see a new Ayrton Senna next season…

  21. MSRNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t like this new regulations. It seems like it would stop development in every way. I agree that Max have to go. Formula One is supposed to get most of technology in every segment of it. And global crisis is just bad excuse for some privat interest it seems.

  22. [...] summarized all the main differences between 2009 and 2008 cars back in August in the post 2009 Formula 1 cars look – The most obvious differences. Around the same time this 2009 F1 car visual appeared all over F1 [...]

  23. bobNo Gravatar says:

    -_- they now look like toys you get from mc donalds

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