BMW tests its 2009 Formula 1 car prototype – and it ain’t pretty (Pictures)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Christian Klien has the best view of the F1.09 prototype - he he can't see it
Christian Klien has the best view of the F1.09 prototype - he can't see it

Several Formula 1 teams were back in action today for the first time since the Brazilian Grand Prix, testing developments ahead of the 2009 season.

BMW are the latest team to run developments of the aerodynamics package we can expect to see on its F1 car in 2009. It’s going to take some getting used to. Here’s 20 pictures, if you can take it…

Click once to preview, click again for high resolution version.

All pictures (C) BMW.

More on the 2009 Formula 1 season

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85 comments on “BMW tests its 2009 Formula 1 car prototype – and it ain’t pretty (Pictures)”

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  1. good god!!! that has to be the most ugly thing i’ve seen since………..well ever.

    i feel like crying!!!!!

  2. I dare say I’ll get used to it eventually. We won’t know if the new regulations will herald an age of exciting racing until next year. This isn’t the first time there have been new regulations intended to increase overtaking which in the end didn’t change much.
    Just like in other seasons when there have been big changes some teams will adapt better than others, so I predict that overall the teams won’t be as close next year as they were this year.

    The high wide nose reminds me more of an older Ferrari than the walrus Williams. While I generally still don’t like the look of F1 cars with a high nose I must be one of the only people who liked the walrus Williams.

    I won’t miss most of the aero add-ons, but I did like some of them. For me the 2005 McLaren was one of the best looking cars of recent years. The low wide nose with curvy front wing (before the bridge of later cars) the curved sidepods, the chimneys on top of the sidepods and the horns on the engine cover.


    That is a deeply upsetting car to behold. What’s more, the aero ‘solution’ seem to simply be ‘make the rear wing of the car narrower so that the massively wide front wing of the following car can get some clean air from where the rear wing should be’
    Not very sophisticated imo. Slicks look great, they make such a difference.
    As for cost cutting, the teams will most likely develop at least two different cars for next season as KERS will work differently on different circuits

  4. eh, it looks alright. We’ll get used to it. At least they scraped all the crud off of it, the BMW was one of the most ‘wrongly put-together Airfix models’, as Martin brundle might say, of last year.

    The slick tyres look sexy too.

  5. That is the ugliest piece of crap that I have ever seen. ’nuff said.

  6. Its not all bad, after all there are no wheel fairings…. I think if the rear wing was a little lower it wouldn’t look half as bad.

    I don’t think the front wing looks that out of place, it reminds me of the early 2000’s Ferrari wings, but the boxes on the end plates look awful.

    Why are they running grooved tires? Is that just to get a baseline of where they stand?

  7. For sure the cars will look pretty different to that by the season opener…
    The car is kind of odd looking, more strikingly different than plain ugly, but am I the only one that thinks if looks mean? Mean like in aggressive, like a big mouth ready to eat you. Having that front wing in your rear mirrors must be a bit intimidating, other than by the side knives (likely not to be there for racing or the mechanics will stay well clear of the car in the pit stops)
    I like it, a F1 car should look like a fighter!

  8. Haha, i think it looks like a clown car!
    Slick tyres look good though, and it’s not as bad as i imagined it would be.

    those front wing end plates look like they’ll be a knife through butter if they touch a tyre

  9. I guess they have space on the front wing to add some missiles to easy overtaking.. OMG :| ugly

  10. Damn that is ugly…….. real ugly :(

  11. Its Hammer Time
    17th November 2008, 20:14

    Did BMW not get the ‘no more grooves’ memo that went round in Brazil…

  12. Hammer Time – they’re running slicks in quite a few of the pictures. However the quantities of slick tyres were limited at the test.

  13. who ever said F1 cars needed to look nice?

    i serously dont mind

  14. If is this the trend for the 2009 i have to view the gp’s in normal tv with 16.9 ratio! ahahahahahah

  15. My God! WHAT’S THAT!!

    Looks like… erm…

    i can’t even think!…

    NOW we will see a sweet Renault F1 car. Imagine the orange-yellow-blue-white combo (not a looker in today’s car) with that kind of shape…

    Already a bad moment in 2009 F1 season :)

  16. On first impression, I thought the design very much resembles a Formula BMW car from recent seasons, so kudos to you Robert! Overall, the whole car seems a good bit smaller- were any other components made bigger or smaller besides the obvious?

    After several looks I am sure I will get used to the look, but it is still a strange-looking setup.

  17. don’t worry, it’s only an interim car, an prototype, but, remember that the new regulation says that the front wing must be like that, it will be abble to up and down the flaps during the race laps, to facilitate the overtakings, 5 stars for the slicks returns, and 0 stars for the new aerodynamic regulamentations….

    and here they are: three main objectives: the first one is to give drivers a better opportunity to overtake, the second is to limit the performance of the cars and restrict the constant increase in speeds and the third is to give the car a cleaner appearance by removing small aerodynamic devices such as winglets, turning vanes and chimneys.

  18. O.K. nice people,place your bets……how many of those GIANT front wings will we see destroyed next season?….no seriously,who wants to keep count?

  19. You know what? How cares what they looks like as long as it makes next years racing better?

  20. If it equals close racing next year, I’m all for it, but for now… GAAAHHH! My eyes!!!


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