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

  1. I think what most people are failing to see about the Brawn car is it’s consistency. Especially the last 2 days of testing when Rubens and Jenson ran their Race Simulations clocking late to 1.21’s and early 1.22’s even fuelled for many laps and then came down into the 1.19’s as they shed their fuel loads.

    My predictions:

    Ferrari
    McLaren
    Brawn GP
    BMW
    Renault
    Toyota
    RB
    Williams
    TR
    FI

  2. Looking at LONG RUN pace then for me it’s

    Brawn GP – consistently high 1m20’s to low 1m21’s (see James Allens Blog)

    Ferrari – Massa (did 36 lap stint, mainly in mid – low 1m21’s Metronomically Impressive & Huge Fuel Tank!!!)

    BMW – Race distance mainly in 1m22’s but a good patch of mid 1m21’s

    Havent seen enough data for the rest…Toyota et al.

  3. sorry

    Brawn
    Ferrari
    BMW
    Toyota

  4. Rocketpanda said on 13th March 2009, 13:13

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

    Personally I’d love to see a championship fought between Toyota, BMW and Brawn. I despise McLaren, but I expect them to be back up top just to spite me.

  5. Andy said on 13th March 2009, 13:21

    McLaren may be struggling – but so were BMW pre season last year and they came pretty close (whilst they were still developing their 08 car).

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

  6. Eddie Irvine said on 13th March 2009, 13:22

    I think is gonna be a really close field…I can see you underestimate Williams, however they made the second fastest time in barcelona-even though according to information they have yet to practice qualyfying laps- and they have some more testing time still to use in order to improve their car. I think Brawn Gp is in hot form , at least a good car for Jenson, and for McLaren they will find their way through the field, the basic idea behind the car is good, they struggle because of a bad aerodynamic update. All things considered:
    1.Red Bull
    2.Williams
    3.Brawn GP
    4.Ferrari
    5.McLaren
    6.BMW
    7.Toyota
    8.Renault
    9.Toro Rosso
    10.Force India

  7. GQsm said on 13th March 2009, 13:23

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

    I think midfield is going to be about the drivers, with the field very mixed up. It should make for a very interesting season.

    I still have McLaren and Hamilton as my favourites for the season. When Ferrari are strong I can see Massa and Raikonen taking points from each other, costing each other dominance and the WDC.
    We just have to wait and see now, I can’t wait for qualifying at Melbourne. It’s going to be electric.

  8. Paul Snoop said on 13th March 2009, 13:30

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

  9. Chris said on 13th March 2009, 13:35

    Less than 10 cars will finish in mel..get ready for a few pile ups. First race everyone wants to push like hell.

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

    This is my prediction for the first race not what I think the final championship standings will be, and for most of these rankings could easily be changed by a couple of places because I at the moment I think it is that tight that if a team has a few problems over the weekend they could be dropping a few places.

    Also this is how I rank the cars themselves as I think drivers like Alonso will outperform their car.

    Even after the first race I think it will be hard to judge each car’s relative performance due to any problems that may occur over the weekend and for teams like Renault where we could see Alonso flying and Piquet struggling it will be difficult to assess where to rank the car compared to the others.

  11. Juhhi said on 13th March 2009, 13:38

    for Australia it like this:

    Brawn GP
    BMW
    Ferrari
    Toyota
    Renault(with Alonso)

    as season gets older:

    Ferrari
    BMW
    Renault
    McLaren
    Toyota

  12. Journeyer said on 13th March 2009, 13:42

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

  13. scunnyman said on 13th March 2009, 13:45

    I think i’ll wait until after next weeks tests to see if the form book will alter at all before i add my list.

    • derek said on 14th March 2009, 10:08

      I agree, I want to see how McLaren fair in next weeks tests. I expect to see some big improvements otherwise they’ll be upper midfield in Auz.

  14. mati z polski said on 13th March 2009, 13:46

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

  15. Chris said on 13th March 2009, 13:47

    For Mel:
    BMW
    FER
    MAC
    BRA
    REN
    FOR
    TOR
    TOY
    RED-BOTH OUT
    WIL-BOTH OUT

  16. BMW
    Ferrari
    Toyota
    Brawn GP
    Renault
    Red Bull
    McLaren
    Williams
    STR
    Force India

  17. djdaveyp said on 13th March 2009, 14:01

    This is what I hope happens!

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

  18. Seedy001 said on 13th March 2009, 14:06

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

    Before I’d have had Fer, BMW, BGP but the Felipe story on autosport.com changed that!

    Renault and McLaren are the biggest unknowns for me at the moment, followed by the question of how quickly TR can access the potential of Newey’s car.

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

  20. I don’t buy the McLaren pace… it is calling “hiding the game”. They may have some problems, sure, but, ALL the Teams did and still do, so, my bet is more or less the continuation of 2008 final races and some info from the last months:

    Order:

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

    Australia will tell us who’s closer to reality.
    Meanwhile, pay attention to McLaren testing in Jerez, next week – they are alone, but still, we have the times from last week from all teams but Toro Rosso and Brawn GP to compare.

    I hope I’m right ! ;)

    • Tey will not be alone…

      Equipos. Domingo 15 Lunes 16 Martes 17 Miércoles 18 Jueves 19
      Brawn GP Button Button Barrichello – –
      McLaren Hamilton Hamilton Kovalainen Kovalainen –
      Renault Alonso Alonso Piquet – –
      Williams Hulkenberg Rosberg Rosberg Nakajima Nakajima

      thef1.com

    • derek said on 14th March 2009, 10:20

      I just cannot get my head around McLaren being so far off the pace a team with all that resources, how could they get it so wrong. I would accept being maybe 0.5 seconds down but not 2.5 secs off the pace! I’m sure they can claw that back pretty quickly. What advantage is there in sandbagging to that extent?

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