Despite 2009 being the BMW Sauber team’s fourth season in Formula One, it hopes to find success with this: the 2009 BMW Sauber F1.09.
Coming off a promising 2008 season with BMW’s first Grand Prix win in Montreal, Canada, eleven podium finishes, and third place in the Constructors’ Championship, BMW Sauber hopes to do even better in 2009. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director, says the team aimed to further improve performance relative to the rest of the field. Theissen feels confident the 2009 BMW Sauber F1.09 meets the team’s goal.
The team could not rely purely on its 2008 car and results to design a winning car for the 2009 season. To meet all the 2009 rule and aerodynamic regulation changes, the car had to be redesigned from the ground up. Noticeable changes include new front and rear wings, the reintroduction of slick tires, and the redesigned side-pods.
The side-pods needed to be designed to allow for better engine cooling as the chimneys seen on 2008 cars have been banned. One of the most interesting changes for the BMW Sauber team might be the slick tires as the team does not have experience in Formula One with slick tires- slick tires were banned after the 1998 season.
The biggest change from 2008 comes in the form of a KERS device. The introduction of the KERS device required BMW engineers to redesign the front and rear axles. The team feels confident its new car and KERS device will be reliable and help put the team in a prime spot to win. The new engines need to be more reliable, as new rules mandate each engine needs to last three races and each driver only gets seven engines per season. In addition to increasing engine life, the maximum RPM has been lowered from 19,000 to 18,000 for the 2009 season.