Who looks good for ’09? Rank the teams

Which team has built the best car going into round one?

Which team has built the best car going into round one?

The last full group test ahead of the new season finished yesterday. Two weeks from today, the 2009 F1 cars will be driven in anger for the first time in practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

Based on what we?ve seen so far, how accurately can we predict the form of each of the teams at the first race?

I’ve ranked the teams in order of how quick I think each of their cars is. Share your ranking below, and we’ll put them all together to see how accurately F1 Fanatic readers can predict their 2009 form.

To get a little perspective on the teams’ performance, here’s how each driver’s best lap times combined in the four-day test session at Barcelona this week:

1 Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP BGP001 1’18.926 (221 laps)
2 Jenson Button Brawn GP BGP001 1’19.?127 (212)
3 Nico Rosberg Williams FW31 1’19.774 (209)
4 Timo Glock Toyota TF109 1’20.091 (260)
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari F60 1’20.168 (201)
6 Robert Kubica BMW F1.09 1’20.217 (248)
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari F60 1’20.314 (136)
8 Nick Heidfeld BMW F1.09 1’20.338 (223)
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull RB5 1’20.576 (185)
10 Fernando Alonso Renault R29 1’20.664 (272)
11 Lewis Hamilton McLaren MP4-24 1’20.869 (156)
12 Kazuki Nakajima Williams FW31 1’20.907 (177)
13 Jarno Trulli Toyota TF109 1’20.937 (242)
14 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso STR4 1’21.013 (213)
15 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India VJM02 1’21.045 (238)
16 Mark Webber Red Bull RB5 1’21.347 (183)
17 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso STR4 1’21.629 (127)
18 Nelson Piquet Jnr Renault R29 1’21.662 (126)
19 Adrian Sutil Force India VJM02 1’21.834 (211)
20 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren MP4-24 1’21.991 (178)

Based partly on that, the other test sessions, and my own gut feeling, here?s my ranking of the teams are heading into the first race of 2009:

1. BMW ?ǣ Their decision to sacrifice their 2008 championship effort to develop a more competitive 2009 car appears to have been vindicated. The car looked quick early on and they seem not to have felt the need to push for headline-setting fastest lap times.

2. Ferrari ?ǣ KERS teething problems have grabbed a few headlines for Ferrari in the off-season but their underlying pace is, as ever, very strong.

3. Brawn GP ?ǣ Clearly invested an enormous amount of effort in their 2009 challenger when they were Honda, and perhaps their off-season disruption hasn?t hampered development of the RA109/BGP001 too much. Probably not as sensationally fast as the time indicate, but still remarkable under the circumstances.

4. Toyota ?ǣ One of the first cars to be revealed, the TF109 has never been far from the pace in testing. Jarno Trulli has emphatically endorsed his new steed.

5. Red Bull ?ǣ Clearly one of the most radical cars on the grid, has shown decent but not world-beating pace in testing.

6. McLaren ?ǣ All sorts of rumours are flying around about their pre-season form. Unless they’ve run an extremely unusual testing regime it looks to me like they’ve got something fundamentally wrong with their 2009 car. Martin Whitmarsh has now admitted the MP4-24’s performance isn’t good enough. At this stage sixth out of ten might even be too high a ranking.

7. Williams – The times above suggest that the gulf in performance between Rosberg and Nakajima will persist into 2009. Rosberg’s looked decent in testing but I think Williams face being out-stripped by their better-equipped rivlas in the development race.

8. Renault ?ǣ Seems to lack the aerodynamic sophistication of the other Renault-powered car, but don?t underestimate the performance boost each team can get from their engines this year.

9. Toro Rosso ?ǣ It?s entirely possible Toro Rosso could end up ahead of their sister team this year, but right now the RB5 looks quicker.

10. Force India – One of the last cars to appear and a new technical collaboration yet to gel. I don’t think Force India will see the success boos Vijay Mallya craves right away in 2009.

How competitive do you think each of the teams are? Share your ranking below and I?ll add them together to create an F1 Fanatic pre-2009 season form guide.

Please use the following format when posting to make it easier for me to incorporate them all together ?ǣ fastest at the top, slowest at the bottom, using the following team names:

BMW
Ferrari
Brawn GP
Toyota
Red Bull
McLaren
Williams
Renault
Toro Rosso
Force India

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179 comments on Who looks good for ’09? Rank the teams

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  1. SamS said on 13th March 2009, 12:06

    Ferrari
    BMW
    McLaren
    Brawn GP
    Toyota
    Red Bull
    Renault
    Williams
    Toro Rosso
    Force India

    This is what I think we will be seeing at the end of 2009 in the constructors table

    • Hugo Bourgeois said on 13th March 2009, 12:17

      I don’t like my own answer…

      Brawn GP
      BMW
      Toyota
      Ferrari
      Red Bull
      Toro Rosso
      Williams
      McLaren
      Renault
      Force India

  2. Striay said on 13th March 2009, 12:13

    1.Ferrari
    2.BMW
    3.Brawn GP
    4.Toyota
    5.Mclaren
    6.Renault
    7.Red Bull
    8.Williams
    9.Force India
    10.Toro Rosso
    Im not sure about williams and redbull but Ferrari, BMW, and Brawn GP sure look strong. However we have to take into account the reliability of Brawn GP.

  3. BMW
    Ferrari
    McLaren

    Toyota
    Red Bull
    Brawn GP
    Renault
    Williams
    Toro Rosso
    Force India

  4. Fer no.65 said on 13th March 2009, 12:20

    BMW
    Ferrari
    Toyota
    Red Bull
    Brawn
    Mclaren
    Renault
    Toro Rosso
    Williams
    Force India

    they are all pretty close anyway. Maybe some are partly equal, like Toro Rosso and Williams. But i guess Toro Rosso will get the best of the car because of its development than Williams…

    I do think the Red Bull teams (both) will get faster and faster as the season goes by because they have 4 cars lapping the tracks at the same time, not just 2.

  5. Scott Joslin said on 13th March 2009, 12:20

    Here is what I think form is now going in to Oz- not what I think the final standing will be. Mclaren will get themselves sorted.

    Ferrari
    BMW
    Toyota
    Renault
    Brawn
    Redbull
    Mclaren
    Williams
    Torro Rosso
    Force India

  6. tombong said on 13th March 2009, 12:22

    1.Ferrari
    2.Toyota
    3.BMW
    4.Renault
    5.Brawn GP
    6.Red Bull
    7.Williams
    8.McLaren
    9.Toro rosso
    10.Force India

  7. skova265 said on 13th March 2009, 12:23

    I really don’t know what to predict. Lets give it a try.

    BMW
    Ferrari
    Brawn
    Toyota
    Mclaren
    Red bull
    williams

    thats Australia and well see for the rest off the season

  8. I see a lot of you really underestimate McLaren.

    • Spud said on 13th March 2009, 16:47

      I agree. They may just be holding their cards close to their “chest”. It is worrying though you have to admit. They are leaving it late!!!

  9. varun said on 13th March 2009, 12:25

    Ferrari
    BMW
    Toyota
    Brawn GP
    Red Bull
    Renault
    McLaren
    Williams
    Force India
    Toro Rosso

  10. 1. ferrari
    2. renault
    3. mclaren

  11. Striay said on 13th March 2009, 12:27

    according to autosport, Mclaren have admitted they are lacking in pace, and the car is not progressing at the pace they estimated it would!!! So no sandbagging! real problem. However i have faith they will be up to scratch by Melbourne, although maybe not as quick as last year. Cant wait!

  12. Clare msj said on 13th March 2009, 12:29

    BMW
    Ferrari
    Brawn GP
    Toyota
    Renault
    Red Bull
    McLaren
    Williams
    Toro Rosso
    Force India

    • Clare msj said on 13th March 2009, 12:31

      Thats how i think they will go into Australia – but i think it will be a much different story come the end of the year – Mclaren will be much higher for sure

  13. todd said on 13th March 2009, 12:33

    Ferrari
    Brawn GP
    BMW
    Toyota
    Williams
    Red Bull
    Renault
    McLaren
    Force India
    Toro Rosso

    honestly, kovi is in a car/team above his talent level. he’s going to be (was last year) the reason mclaren don’t win a constructors championship.

    • SamS said on 13th March 2009, 12:35

      totally agree. We have seen hamiltons talents, but Kovi isnt stepping up to the mark! They need a Kubica, or Rosberg to take that second seat and actually challenge Hamilton for the point otherwise Mclaren are going to miss out

    • Powerslave said on 13th March 2009, 18:29

      Actually Kovi has a great talent (slightly less than Hamilton), but it’s resticted ’cause he is the NUMBER 2 DRIVER in McLaren, and his job is more or less the same as Baricchelo’s job was when he was Schumi’s teammate in Ferrari from 2000 to 2005.

      You can except Kovi to give a full support to Hamilton’s asspirations for 2009, such as watching his back, and letting him pass for more points

      This last year’s policy will become much more evident again this yaer, IF McM have a real chance at any of the titles…..

      P.S. Do you think Hamilton would have won the Driver’s title last year, if they had given Kovi an equal car/set up/strategy ?!?! ;-)

  14. BMW
    Williams
    Brawn GP
    Toyota
    Ferrari
    Toro Rosso
    Red Bull
    McLaren
    Force India
    Renault

  15. luky said on 13th March 2009, 12:35

    Ferrari
    BMW
    Renault
    Brawn
    Toyota
    Williams
    Redbull
    Mclaren
    Torro Rosso
    Force India

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