2009 F1 car comparisons: Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Williams and Toyota

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Renault R29 and Williams FW31 (click to enlarge)
Renault R29 and Williams FW31 (click to enlarge)

Half of the 2009 F1 grid has now been launched providing us with some insight into the different design directions taken by likely front-runners of 2009.

Here’s how the freshly-launched Renault R29 and Williams FW31 compare to the Ferrari, McLaren and Toyota that appeared last week.

Front views

Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Renault R29 and Williams FW31 (click to enlarge)
Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Renault R29 and Williams FW31 (click to enlarge)

It seems Toyota’s high, narrow nose it a bit of a departure from what the rest of the field are practising. Renault’s blocky front nose reminds me of the 1995 Benetton – and that wasn’t short on success.

Williams, like Ferrari, has extra flaps inside of the front wing endplates, though the FW31’s are squarer than the F60’s.

Side-by-side

Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, McLaren MP4-24 and Williams FW31 (click to enlarge)
Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, McLaren MP4-24 and Williams FW31 (click to enlarge)

The R29 is the first 2009 car to appear with a ‘shark fin’ wing on the engine cover. Renault were one of the first to adopt these devices last year after Red Bull. However as there’s no studio side-on picture of the R29 it isn’t shown above (here’s a good picture of the R29 in profile).

Williams on the other hand has a far smaller engine cover. There’s probably more to it than them not having as many sponsors as their rivals.

Williams also has an aggressive interpretation of the rules governing wings and flip-ups in front of sidepods, although the dark colour of the interim livery makes it hard to see. Here’s an enhanced version:

Williams FW31 with side pod wing highlighted (click to enlarge)
Williams FW31 with side pod wing highlighted (click to enlarge)

Top-down view


Williams also haven’t produced studio pictures of the FW31 but they have released some detailed technical drawings (
find them all here). I’ve used the top-down image below, although its usefulness for making comparisons is limited by it being a flat image rather than a photograph of a three-dimensional car.

Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Williams FW31 and McLaren MP4-24 (click to enlarge)
Ferrari F60, Toyota TF109, Williams FW31 and McLaren MP4-24 (click to enlarge)

Over to you

If you want to manipulate these images to conduct your own comparisons you can find the original Photoshop files on the F1Fanatic drop.io.

Could you do a better job with the 2009 F1 car liveries? Send your designs in here.