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?σΤιΌΤδσve 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.?σΤιΌΤδσ127 (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?σΤιΌΤδσs my ranking of the teams are heading into the first race of 2009:

1. BMW ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 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 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 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 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ Clearly invested an enormous amount of effort in their 2009 challenger when they were Honda, and perhaps their off-season disruption hasn?σΤιΌΤδσt 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 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 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 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ Clearly one of the most radical cars on the grid, has shown decent but not world-beating pace in testing.

6. McLaren ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 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 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ Seems to lack the aerodynamic sophistication of the other Renault-powered car, but don?σΤιΌΤδσt underestimate the performance boost each team can get from their engines this year.

9. Toro Rosso ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ It?σΤιΌΤδσs 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?σΤιΌΤδσll 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 ?σΤιΌΤΗ£ 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. ajokay said on 13th March 2009, 14:14

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

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

    I think Williams will have a tough year.

  3. anirudh said on 13th March 2009, 14:19

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

  4. claus said on 13th March 2009, 14:22

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

  5. Pete Walker said on 13th March 2009, 14:25

    Here’s mine. I’ve seperated them into groups because its so close at the moment, but these are the ‘tiers’ I think will be doing battle with one another at the start of the season.

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

  6. Well, lets go!!!

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

    Brawn GP I don’t really know where I should rank the team along the seven first positions. Many things have been commented about. I honestly think is more a marketing operation (weight, engine rev limit, fuel…) than real performance, but who knows

    McLaren is the other team for which I have serious doubts but I think they will return to the top soon.

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

  8. hookoo said on 13th March 2009, 14:40

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

  9. Luigismen said on 13th March 2009, 14:49

    At the moment on pure speed would be like this

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

    But for Oz it will be all mixed up… pretty close though

  10. David said on 13th March 2009, 14:51

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

    I feel and hope that the first six are so close each other that you cannot say who’s going to win in Australia.

  11. At the moment,

    1.BrawnGP
    2.BMW
    3.Ferrari
    4.Toyota
    5.Williams
    6.Redbull
    7.McLaren
    8.Renault
    9.Torro Rosso
    10.Force India

    I think McLaren will pick it up after 1st two races, and Renault will improve as well.

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

    BMW and Ferrari well out in front. After that it is going to be quite tight. Mclaren may struggle at the start but I expect them to improve over the season. Brawn is the most difficult to predict: their current times just feel too good to be true.

  13. pseudohendrix said on 13th March 2009, 15:14

    NOW

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

    END of SEASON

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

  14. curedcat said on 13th March 2009, 15:27

    mclaren
    ferrari
    BMW
    Red Bull
    Renault
    Toyota
    Brawn
    Williams
    Toro Rosso
    Force India

    I know some of you will think i am wrong putting mclaren top ,but some of you will be surprised to hear brawn asking why their car is not as fast as it was in testing .
    Mclaren can handle whatever problems they are having

  15. Colin said on 13th March 2009, 15:43

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

    This is a tough ne this year, o think Mclaren will sort a lot of their issues out but wont catch up by the aussie GP, I think BMW has the best combination of speed, reliability and know how just ahead of Brawn GP, Ferrari look mediocre at the moment to me and the will he wont he turn up debate is still relevant to Raikanon. I think Seb Vetel is going to be key for Red Bull, and I don’t think toyota (despite trulli bigging it up) have anything special. Williams and renault will continue their struggles and force india may come a bit good through the season but I dont think they will be ready at melbourne.

  16. Adam said on 13th March 2009, 16:13

    Ferrari
    BrawnGP
    BMW
    Toyota
    Renault
    Red Bull/Torro Rosso I see them on the same level
    Williams
    Mclaren
    Force India

  17. nick said on 13th March 2009, 16:36

    Ferrari
    Mclaren
    BMW
    Toyota
    renault
    Brawn
    Red Bull
    Toro rosso
    Williams
    Force India

  18. Nick said on 13th March 2009, 16:47

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

    Kimi vs Vettel…BMW doens’t have the drivers, Kub is quick but can’t pass…BMW will work for him tho & screw up Nick more.

  19. Woffin said on 13th March 2009, 16:48

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

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