F1 2009: Quick pre-season guide

Posted on

| Written by

A new season, a new champion: F1 2009 begins this week
A new season, a new champion: F1 2009 begins this week

After months of waiting the 2009 F1 season finally gets going this weekend. For those of you just catching up with all the changes for 2009 here’s a quick guide to the teams, the drivers, the tracks, the rules and the technology.

Packing in more than 50 separate articles, this is everything you need to know about F1 2009.

Teams, drivers and cars

Team information, driver biographies and car pictures:

McLaren-Mercedes MP4-24 | #1 Lewis Hamilton | #2 Heikki Kovalainen
Ferrari F60 | #3 Felipe Massa | #4 Kimi Raikkonen
BMW F1.09 | #5 Robert Kubica | #6 Nick Heidfeld
Renault R29 | #7 Fernando Alonso | #8 Nelson Piquet Jnr
Toyota TF109 | #9 Jarno Trulli | #10 Timo Glock
Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR4 | #11 Sebastien Bourdais | #12 Sebastien Buemi
Red Bull-Renault RB5 | #14 Mark Webber | #15 Sebastian Vettel
Williams-Toyota FW31 | #16 Nico Rosberg | #17 Kazuki Nakajima
Force India VJM02 | #18 Adrian Sutil | #19 Giancarlo Fisichella
Brawn GP BGP001 | #20 Jenson Button | #21 Rubens Barrichello

F1 2009: the drivers
2009 F1 drivers helmets


F1 2009: New rules at a glance
FIA to provide video evidence and improve stewarding of incidents in 2009

F1 technology

F1 2009 technology: Front wing
F1 2009 technology: Mid-region
F1 2009 technology: Rear wings, diffusers – and the inevitable controversy
Tyre compounds for first five races of 2009
KERS explained: how a mechanical Kinetic Energy Recovery System works


2009 F1 calendar
2009 F1 tracks compared
Pictures of F1’s new circuit for 2009: Abu Dhabi

Enjoyed this post? You can vote for it on Digg, submit it to Stumbleupon, or share it with the rest of the world using the social sites below.

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

35 comments on “F1 2009: Quick pre-season guide”

  1. After Brazil last year, this season seemed so far away, and it’s here already!

    I’ll be up in the middle of the night for qualifying and the race this weekend and bouncing on the sofa, just like every year! :)

  2. Are you sure that Button and Barrichello will have numbers 18 and 19, Keith? The FIA are regarding Brawn GP as a new team and have allotted them the last pit garage therefore. Presumably the drivers are seen as being entered by a new team therefore and should be given numbers 20 and 21.

    Of course, this the FIA we’re talking about so logic has nothing to do with it…

    1. I’m guessing they’ll get 18 and 19 anyway. Since the numbers 20 and 21 were already assigned to Force India, I’m guessing they won’t take it back.

      This is similar to what happened to McLaren last year. They got the numbers 22 and 23, but they got the 5th garage. The garage location isn’t always directly related to their car numbers.

    2. Technically speaking, Honda transferred the race entry to Brawn. Therefore, the FIA is wrong to treat Brawn as a new entry in any way, shape or form.

      Would it be too cynical for me to suggest that the FIA is €309,000 richer through having Brawn pay the entry fee separately to Honda than not? I know this is supposed to be a credit crunch, but this sort of penny-pinching won’t pay off in the long-term – or even the medium-term, given the volatile psuedopolitical situation the FIA seems intent on generating…

    3. Actually, the FIA waived the new entry fee for Brawn GP in spite of regarding them as a new team.

    4. Would making them enter as a new team have something to do with them having to give a new guarantee to stay in the sport for X amount of years? Bernie and Max, together again?

  3. Force India has started podcast’ing’…. Check it out!

  4. I’ve just booked friday off work so I can stay up and watch the friday practices without being shattered at work the next day.

    1. Love the commitment! I have got a blasted meeting at 10am so might have to skip the second session.

  5. Early mornings this weekend… very early mornings…
    Worth it though! I’ll kick off the season with quadruple espressos galore, huddled up with a blanket in front of the tv like a neglected child watching dragonball z. Mmmmm… This will be a good season :D

  6. Is Massa really #4? and I think clive is right, Button and Barrichello i believe will be #20 #21

    1. Pretty sure that’s correct – Massa is number 4. But note that BMW (or maybe the FIA) have swapped their drivers around, giving 5 to Kubica and 6 to Heidfeld. Is that indicative of who the team regard as their lead driver?

      Toro Rosso is interesting as well, Buemi getting the lower number which normally indicates lead status. In this case, however, I think they just gave Buemi Vettel’s old number. The same goes for the Red Bull drivers – or are they not prepared to bet on who will be quicker, Webber or Vettel? :D

    2. The Force India drivers have kept their numbers despite Giancarlo scoring the higher position in the championship.

      My guess is that a lot of it is to do with which name came to mind of the person filling in the form first – or how bothered the team was about flipping the numbers around and the mild increase in workload resulting from it. BMW’s following of tradition indicates to me a certain meticulousness that could pay off for them in the 2009 championship – regardless of whether Kubica, Heidfeld or both end up leading its charge.

  7. The Fia say massa is #4, but in testing he was using #3

    1. Oops! Hope Ferrari remember what they put on the form by the time race weekend comes or they’ll be getting the first lecture of the season at Thursday scrutineering…

    2. NOPE he was using 4
      i was there live (no offense)

    3. Pictures of the test show Massa was driving #4 and Raikkonen #3.

      I’m amazed they actually bother to put different numbers on the car during tests.

    4. He#s no. 3 now they’ve changed it. Although i dont think he’ll care too much. The number he really wanted is “1”….

  8. Would someone be interested in starting a petition for Ferrari to number their cars #27 and #28 again?


    1. To do that the rules on car numbering would have to revert to the pre 1996 (last used in 1995) rules.

    2. Either that or the 24-car franchise would have to be invoked, the #13 superstition ignored, the grid go up to 14 teams and Ferrari end up as the 14th team for some reason…

  9. theRoswellite
    23rd March 2009, 15:46

    Keith, great job again on “getting it all together” for your readers!

    Read a quote this AM by Stefano Domenicali:

    “There needs to be a great sense of responsibility on everyone’s part. I hope this issue can be resolved beforehand.”

    He was of course referring to the elephant in the room, the diffuser interpretation. At present the FIA seems set on simply allowing the race to go forward and then having the stewards rule ex post facto. This decision on Mr. Mosley’s part has the great potential for creating more turmoil in the sport, i.e., the race winner and probably other high finishing cars being disqualified…after the race.

    He, Mr. Mosley, has said that there was not time for the WMC (?) to rule on this question before hand. I simply would like to remind everyone that he did however feel that there was time enough to implement an entirely new way in which the driver’s championship would be decided, and only after it was pointed out that such a change violated the FIA regulations did he withdraw the change.

    If this diffuser affair ends up disrupting or ruining a wonderful Australian weekend, we have only Mr. Mosley’s on again-off again management style to thank.

    I doubt that Mr. Domenicali would see this as displaying, “a great sense of responsibility”.

    1. I doubt they’ll be disqualified after the fact – when there’s a question about legality all they can do is clarify the rules for the future races, not change the outcome of the race just run.

      So this would require the teams to ship new parts out to Malaysia, which I can imagine would cost a fair bit as it would be out of their pocket.

    1. OMGZ! I stand corrected. They changed numbers. The first tests Raikkonen was driving with #3 and Massa #4.

      Raikkonen #3

      Massa #4

      I guess Massa went crying and got the #3 …

  10. Thanks to everyone who posted details of the changes made by the FIA today. I’ve now updated the article to reflect them (Massa/Raikkonen switch, Bourdais/Buemi switch, and Force India/Brawn GP switch).

    So of the teams that have retained the same drivers, all of them have given the lower number to the driver who did best last season, apart from Brawn GP and Force India.

    Here’s a bit more on this discussion from earlier in the off-season:

    Massa’s number four and Kubica’s number five – but who’s number 13?

  11. Some interesting video from testing of the MP4-24, with a very twitchy rear end, in this corporate video:


    (posted an hour ago)

    Trying to work out from the exhausts what incarnation of the car this is.

  12. The announcement of a new points system caused uproar last week. But while everybody was focused on that, the FIA dropped the real bombshell…

    I have the same opinion. What do you think, keith?

    Has the FIA tried to override us?

    1. I think a lot of people are sceptical about how serious the budget caps proposal is – and how implementable it is. I’m still of the opinion that it’s a terrible idea and I hope FOTA can make the FIA see sense.

      Do I think the FIA brought the ‘most wins’ thing in to distract people? No, I think that gives them way too much credit.

      More on the budget cap proposal here: Budget caps for F1 in 2010

  13. The above statement is in the autosport magazine, is what I meant,

  14. theRoswellite
    24th March 2009, 4:37

    I agree with Keith on this one:

    “Do I think the FIA brought the ‘most wins’ thing in to distract people? No, I think that gives them way too much credit.”

    Plus, any move as horrendous as subscribing the team budgets to a preset FIA established limit is not going to disappear from the table simply because we have something more immediate on our plate (the points guffa). Don’t get me wrong, a reasonable, FOTA backed, financial limitation COULD be an equitable way to maintain a healthy F1. However, any unilateral program coming from our two-headed monster certainly will not be.

  15. Thanks Keith!

  16. Keith
    There is only one way to kick the new season off and that is with a bottle of champagne no matter what the hour!

  17. On the subject of getting ready: any recommendations for the best live webcast of the race? This got a little dicey with TVU later in the last season…
    Many thanks!

Comments are closed.