Teams bringing new parts to catch Brawn (Spanish Grand Prix preview)

Robert Kubica will be hoping his revised BMW F1.09 performs better

Robert Kubica will be hoping his revised BMW F1.09 performs better

Many F1 teams are expecting a boost in performance at the Spanish Grand Prix as the return to Europe gives them a chance to bring a host of news parts.

Several of them are likely to introduce their versions of the ‘double decker diffusers’ that were confirmed legal last month.

But with Brawn bringing updated parts too, can anyone narrow the gap to the flying BGP001s?

How far ahead are Brawn?

John Spencer has put together these charts looking at how the teams stack up alongside Brawn over the first four races:

Brawn versus other teams in qualifying

Brawn versus other teams in qualifying

Brawn versus other teams in races

Brawn versus other teams in races

Interestingly the circuit where Brawn’s advantage has been greatest so far is Sepang. Its long straights and high aerodynamic loads make it more similar to the Catalunya circuit than the other three, suggesting Brawn should be especially strong here. But will that be the case?

New parts

Here’s what the teams have said about new components they’ll be bringing to Spain:

BMW – Claims it will have a “new nose section, more deeply undercut sidepods and rear wing” along with revisions to its front wing, engine cover and underbody. The latter will presumably include a revised diffuser.

It looks likely to be one of the most revised cars on the grid – and boy do they need it to be.

Ferrari – Lots of changes to the F60, some have even unofficially dubbed it the ‘F60B’. Goofy has posted some videos of it in the forum although as it’s shot from a distance it’s tricky to see what changes have been made:

Toyota - Dieter Gass has said the team are planning a minor aerodynamic upgrade for Catalunya.

McLaren – Having rushed in changes to its diffuser at China following the diffuser verdict, McLaren has played down its ability to get many new parts on the car this weekend.

Brawn – The team they’re all trying to catch isn’t standing still. Ross Brawn had this to say:

Whilst we have been away racing over the past few weeks, the factory has been working extremely hard on our upgrade package for the BGP 001 and we look forward to seeing the results of our development work on track in Barcelona this weekend.

Will any of the teams be able to catch Brawn at Spain?

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45 comments on Teams bringing new parts to catch Brawn (Spanish Grand Prix preview)

  1. while they’re still allowed to throw money at their problems, ferrari will. mclaren will get closer, red bull won’t move forward until newey has sorted out the diffuser/pull rod suspension issue, toyota will remain where they are but will have sent their entire pitwall back to university to learn about tyres and strategy, and brawn will waltz away into the distance…

    and what of williams, force india, toro rosso? well they’re as we speak perfecting a method of getting their cars to run on enthusiasm, optimism and elbow grease, as those are the things they have in abundance, and seems to be the only chance they have of delivering on their stated potential…!


  2. win248F1 said on 5th May 2009, 13:21

    i kinda curious, are the front and rear wing changeable? i mean, like previous years we’ve seen different types of wings on every rounds. e.g in monza and monaco which very different approach by gaining downforce, thus the wings get different.

    still happens in 2009?

  3. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th May 2009, 14:00

    More stuff on new parts the teams are bringing this weekend:

    Renault – new wheel fairings, new rear wing, small aerodynamic tweaks.

    BMW - No double diffuser

  4. ruud said on 5th May 2009, 15:00

    a closer look at the ferrari f60B

    looks fast and has kers in it. can they catch brawn, redbull, toyota, even lewis’ mclaren? i just hope so

  5. Chaz said on 5th May 2009, 17:11

    I see a good oportunity for ‘before’ and ‘after’ upgrade pictures to be posted here for fans to see the diferences. Sadly is not very good in this department…

  6. SamS said on 5th May 2009, 17:15

    it does make me laugh how Ferrari, the most sucessful F1 team are so far behind. And they have resorted to binning KERs I think is homage to the waste of time and money that KERs offers. I would love, however, to see how Force India use their KERs system in a couple of races time, especially as it is Mercs, if they do well with it how long until Brawn buy in?

  7. F1Fan said on 5th May 2009, 17:17

    Beware of Toyota in Barcelona.

  8. mythrenegade said on 5th May 2009, 17:30

    Wait, I thought in season testing was banned. Isn’t that exactly what that video shows Ferrari doing?


    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 6th May 2009, 0:08

      All the teams are allowed a limited number of ‘straight-line’ tests per year (which does not literally mean only driving in a straight line as discussed above!). Off the top of my head I think it’s eight.

  9. goofy said on 5th May 2009, 19:11

    Interview with Ferrari’s Technical Director Aldo Costa with some images of Straightline test and information about aeroupdates

  10. Brawn4Constructors said on 6th May 2009, 1:16

    Button again. First Pole, then the top step of the Podium.

    Fri 5/8 3:00AM (EST)

    1031 JENSON BUTTON +200
    1032 SEBASTIEN VETTEL +500
    1033 FERNANDO ALONSO +900
    1034 LEWIS HAMILTON +900
    1035 RUBENS BARICHELLO +1000
    1036 KIMI RAIKKONEN +1000
    1037 FELIPE MASSA +1200
    1038 JARNO TRULLI +1400
    1039 MARK WEBBER +1600
    1040 TIMO GLOCK +1800
    1041 ROBERT KUBICA +2500
    1042 FIELD +1000

  11. schumi the greatest said on 6th May 2009, 9:26

    Historically the best car walks it at barcelona.

    So button to win again i think…would like to see rubens have a clear run all weekend and it be a head to head for the brawn drivers (sounds broing i know but i just cant see anyone getting near them here). I think mclaren will drop back abit from bahrain so lewis will probably be scrapping for the minor point scoring places. Lewis himself and whitmarsh have said that bahrain flattered the car and barcelona is all about having a good car aerodynamically because of the long corners so he’ll struggle here.

  12. Daniel said on 7th May 2009, 9:17

    Ok, as far as i know RBR may have an aero update for Barca.

    In China they extended the wheelbase by 50mm and added more ballast to the front.

    Also ive heard RBR may be introducing a Carbon Fibre Gearbox.

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