Not that long ago (2002-2003) Williams were still one of the top teams fighting for race wins and top championship places. But following the split with their engine partner BMW during 2005 season there were not too many reasons to celebrate for the Grove based team. Williams moved from the top 3 towards midfield (and lower midfield) with regular points and an odd podium here and there being the most they could hope for.
Most of Formula One fans knew that the 2009 Formula One cars will be quite different than their predecessors. But as teams kept their ideas to themselves we could all only guess how the new cars will look.
The introduction of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) into Formula 1 has turned into rather controversial issue. One hand this brainchild of Max Mosley is here to show to the outside world how green and road relevant F1 can be. On the other hand this for F1 new technology has been a massive drain on financial resources of the teams at the time when FIA , FOTA and even Bernie Ecclestone talk about need to drastically reduce the cost of Formula One.
Williams rolled out their 2009 F1 car – FW31 – today at Portimao circuit. The car is still sporting the interim livery. The 2009 racing livery is to be revealed according to some in February, according to some others just prior to Australian GP. Will see. I for once would not mind seeing this great all dark blue livery on Williams next year. But I am afraid they will add some white again before the season kicks off …
Jenson Button betting his F1 future on the Brackley team
The entire last week was about cost saving and testing. Fortunately Sunday night also provided some great fun.
Early last week rumours started to circulate that all four independent team plus Renault are to sign up for the budget Cosworth engine from 2010. There was a Thursday deadline for the teams to make up their minds. But after Friday’s WMSC meeting it seems that the deadline has been extended till December 20, 2008. Renault issued some careful statement refusing claims they are going against FOTA but failed to deny they are thinking about switching to Cosworth engines from 2010. For 2009 however they were allowed to rework their frozen Renault engine in order to catch up with the better rest.
While Honda F1 team members still lick the exit wounds the rest took to the test tracks last week. Toyota did some behind the close doors running in Bahrain, the others went to Jerez. I will prepare the December testing summary after this week testing is over but here are at least some brief notes:
(Updated, more pictures added including Honda 2009 wing)
The winter testing for 2009 Formula One season begins in Barcelona today. The are is some added excitement about the testing this winter as all the teams will have to come up with brand new cars for next 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 display) – large, wide and low front wing, small, narrow and high rear wing. That “Credit Suisse” painted part of the front wing seems to the movable one. All the winglets, horns and mini fins are gone. They still however run the car with grooved tyres, but those will not be used in Formula 1 from 2009 season.
We may see more of these soon, the winter testing begins next week. But Williams are the first team offering us the sneak peak at the 2009 style aero. They tested the narrow and high rear wing in Barcelona back in September, yesterday they fitted the FW30 car with the new front wing too during their Kemble airfield shakedown.
The pictures above show the differences between 2008 and 2009 spec front wings. I must say that while the new rear wing looks funny, its cousing at the front of car does have the look of proper racing wing .
DC almost made it to Part 1 but at the end I found him a bit less disappointing than Heikki Kovalainen. Although Coulthard scored the only podium for Red Bull this year he was still clearly outperformed by his team mate. The 2:16 qualifying statistics says it all. Coulthard also got involved in many racing incidents ruining several races for himself and for few other drivers. The way the final race of his F1 careers went pretty much sums up his 2008 season.
Jean Eric VERGNE
2014 F1 Calendar
14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi