F1 2009: Team-by-team

Brawn finished one-two at Monaco and three other races

Brawn finished one-two at Monaco and three other races

The usual McLaren-versus-Ferrari duel was suspended in 2009 and instead all the glory went to a team we hadn’t heard of 12 months ago.

F1 Fanatic’s 2009 season review kicks off with a look at how the ten F1 teams fared in 2009.

Brawn GP

Points: 172
Wins: 8

Plenty has already been written about the incredible and unlikely story of Brawn.

Against expectations the BGP 001 looked quick when they first tested it alongside rival cars at Barcelona, and at Melbourne the team proved their pace was genuine. They could scarcely do any wrong in the opening half of the season, winning six of the first seven races.

Much of the credit for this was given to the fact that they started the year with a double diffuser. But the other two teams that had the device from race one -Toyota and Williams – didn’t do nearly as well over the course of the entire season.

The car had other strengths – notabliy it’s reliability, which served it well when Red Bull came on strong in the second half of the season.

The second half of the season was more of a struggle. The team took the decision to shift their focus onto developing the 2010 car in a desire not to fall behind next year. This meant other teams were able to reduce their advantage, but the underlying performance of the BGP 001 was enough that points were always on offer and usually podiums too. In the end, they wrapped up both titles with a race to spare.

Read more: Did Honda throw a championship away?

Red Bull

Vettel and Webber won the last three races

Vettel and Webber won the last three races

Points: 153.5
Wins: 6

Red Bull’s RB5 looked fast from the moment it first broke cover in winter testing. Several distinctive design elements courtesy of Adrian Newey – such as its pull-rod rear suspension – marked it out as a more radical design than some of its rivals.

Unfortunately the team hadn’t exploited the gap in the regulations allowing for a double diffuser. Creating a solution that married their suspension to the double diffuser concept proved very difficult. Once they cracked it the team had the fastest car on the grid and ended the season with three consecutive wins.

Before that their higher than average tyre wear gave them some problems, notably for Sebastian Vettel at Monte-Carlo. Reliability was another weakness, with Vettel losing two engines in one weekend at Valencia. Despite that, 2009 was Red Bull’s best season to date by a long chalk.

McLaren

Points: 71
Wins: 2

It was clear early on in testing that McLaren had some fundamental problems with their MP4-24 – not least because they persisted in running it with their 2008-specification rear wing for so long.

But the team made matters worse at Melbourne by first mis-judging the rules and then trying to lie to cover it up – with punitive consequences for themselves and Lewis Hamilton.

It took until the German Grand Prix for the team to fix the car and once they did they were instantly challenging for victories once again – at least, until Hamilton punctured a tyre in his first-corner collision with Mark Webber.

Nonetheless the team scored two wins at Hungary and Singapore – something which looked utterly unlikely at the beginning of the season. Their third place in the constructors’ championship was slightly flattered by Ferrari missing one of their star drivers for half the season, but this was still an excellent recovery performance by the team.

Ferrari

Massa was on the podium in his last race this year

Massa was on the podium in his last race this year

Points: 70
Wins: 1

For only the second time this decade, Ferrari ended a year without a world championship. As in 2005 they won just one race, but at least this one was a proper event – Kimi Raikkonen triumphing at Spa once again.

They suffered their worst start to a championship campaign by various measures, including failing to score in the first three races, which they hadn’t done since 1991. They struggled with KERS early in the season and briefly took it off the car. And they didn’t have a double diffuser until later in the season either.

But the tricky handling characteristics of the F60 were probably its greatest weakness. Unfortunately just as Felipe Massa was coming to terms with them he had his season-ending crash. Before that he had four consecutive top-six finishes.

The team’s inability to find a suitable replacement reflected not only on how hard the car was to drive – particularly under braking, thanks to KERS – but also ongoing doubts over the quality and decisiveness of the team’s management in its post-Schumacher guise.

Having halted development on the F60 early to start work on the 2010 car, and with Fernando Alonso making his long-awaited switch this winter, there’ll be no excuses if Ferrari aren’t winning regularly again next year.

Toyota

Points: 59.5
Wins: 0

Toyota’s second-best result in F1 wasn’t enough to spare the team from the axe. Jarno Trulli said he didn’t think the team missed out on any opportunities to win races, but their early season form suggests otherwise.

As their rivals caught up Toyota’s performances fluctuated wildly. Trulli and Timo Glock were 18th and 20th on the grid at Monte-Carlo, then had a double points score in the very next round.

They seemed to have uncovered a promising Japanese talent in Kamui Kobayashi at the end of the year after Glock was injured at Suzuka, but whether he will even be on the grid next year is now in doubt.

BMW

Points: 36
Wins: 0

Another team that’s giving up on F1. Like McLaren, BMW recovered from a disappointing start to the season. A major upgrade introduced at Singapore boosted both their performance and hopes the team might find a buyer for 2010.

Despite being one of the first teams to test a 2009-style aerodynamics package, BMW lost the momentum of three years’ worth of incremental improvement at the beginning of this year. And the board weren’t in the mood to give them a reprieve.

Williams

Rosberg scored 34.5 points but never got on the podium

Rosberg scored 34.5 points but never got on the podium

Points: 34.5
Wins: 0

Williams were one of the most promising teams in the off-season but their potential was badly compromised by Kazuki Nakajima’s inability to keep up with Nico Rosberg.

Their mechanical KERS never made an appearance, even at power tracks like Monza which showed up the deficiencies of their Toyota engines. The team seemed to lose momentum late in the season, scoring only five points from the last six rounds, allowing BMW to overtake them in the constructors’ championship.

Renault

Points: 26
Wins: 0

In the light of what we now know about Nelson Piquet Jnr’s involved in the Singapore conspiracy last year, you have to ask why Flavio Briatore decided to embarrass him by dropping him halfway through the championship?

It remains to be seen if Piquet’s shocking disclosures have destroyed the modern Renault team, as the company is to decide before Christmas whether it will stay in F1. This despite the sports’ governing body declining to punish them after the two known guilty parties – Briatore at Pat Symonds – were expelled.

Their performance on the track was scarcely any better. They began the season with KERS which provided some entertainment as Fernando Alonso used it to pass cars the R29 simply wasn’t capable of staying in front of. But they soon discarded the technology. Fittingly it was at Singapore that Alonso scored the team’s only podium.

Force India

Points: 13
Wins: 0

One of the most remarkable stories of the year was Force India’s transformation from backmarkers into podium-finishers – and very nearly race-winners.

They showed some potential early in the season, but Adrian Sutil squandered chances to score the team’s first points Shanghai and the Nurburgring after crashing.

But a revised aerodynamics package introduced at Valencia transformed the VJM02 and at the next round – Spa – Giancarlo Fisichella shocked the paddock by putting the car on pole position. He might have won the race too, if the stewards hadn’t turned a blind eye to Raikkonen gaining places by going off the track on lap one. But second place was a remarkable achievement nonetheless.

Had Fisichella not left the team to join Raikkonen at Ferrari, Force India might have gotten more out of the final races. Sutil managed just one more points finish, and at the final round the team saw both their cars eliminated in Q1 once again.

Toro Rosso

Points: 8
Wins: 0

One of the most improved teams last year achieved little in 2009. Sebastien Bourdais was dropped halfway through and replaced with the inexperienced Jaime Alguersuari.

The RB5-apeing STR4 was usually at least one development step behind its sister model. And unlike last year having a Ferrari engine seemed less of an advantage.

But by the end of the year the car was looking more competitive, at least in the hands of Sebastien Buemi, who scored in both of the last two races.

Which teams impressed you in 2009? Who was the biggest disappointment this year? Have your say in the comments.

Contribute to the 2009 F1 Fanatic season review! Tell us your memorable moments and rate the drivers.

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59 comments on F1 2009: Team-by-team

  1. GeeMac said on 9th November 2009, 12:09

    Brawn are my team of the year. McLaren get an honourable mention for their remarkable turn around in the second half of the season.

    • Red Bull

      Unfortunately the team hadn’t exploited the gap in the regulations allowing for a double diffuser.

      Sorry this is wrong, they were told by C Whitting and the FIA in 2008 that DDD were not allowed (illegal)…
      So going by that theory they were wanting to ‘exploit’ the loophole…they were the team of the year if we just look at the cars alone. They were almost as quick as Brawn with no DDD and then quicker.

      Imagine if RBR had DDD allowed to develop a car around the DDD in 08
      The same man(whitting) later let Brawn and co use the illegal DDD!

  2. Most Impressed: Brawn and Red Bull fights, as a brawn (and old honda) fan it was great to see the team at the front and fighting with a relatively young team.

    Disappointment: has to be BMW in the testing at the start of the year they looked like title contenders, but as soon as the season started they seemed to faulter.

    Its a shame they and Toyota are going but i for one hope that Kobayasi gets a drive because he was the biggest surprise at the end of the season.

  3. sumedh said on 9th November 2009, 12:37

    Great review. Force India definitely improved this season. But their good performance was restricted to the low downforce tracks. The car doesn’t produce too much drag, but neither does it produce enough downforce. But I am sure they will be going a step ahead next year.

    One of the curious stories this year has to be the Ferrari F60. Very little has been written about the car. But looking at Fisi’s and Badoer’s performances, one must conclude that Kimi and Felipe did an absolutely phenomenal job in to score 70 points.

    You have to wonder, how did they manage so many points. Ferrari engine was significantly weaker than the Mercedez ones. It was also known to drink more fuel than the Mercedez ones. The KERS system of Mercedez was considered better. The development of the car stopped after Hungary.

    I have a feeling that next year, the 2 Ferraris should be a class apart from rest of the field. If they could build a decent enough car, inspite of so many obvious faults, surely, with an extra 2 months of effort than other teams, they should be much better than others in 2010.

  4. well i would like to contribute the team-review with this stuff:

    (i hope the image appears, as it makes sense)

    after (sometimes during) every race i ranked the teams according to their performance on that particular weekend. this order is relative, so the teams are compared to each other, the time differences couldn’t be shown this way.
    now, that i have summarized and visualized the whole years performance of the teams, i felt the need to explain the ups and downs of specific teams. why were they fast on some races or why did they struggle?
    to help it understand, i supported the analysis with some extra charts.
    1. cars that used KERS. as they season advanced, the importance of this device grew, so it had an influence on a cars performance.
    2. car upgrades (taken from formula1.com). as the testing ban kicked in this year, newly developed parts appeared on cars regulary, sometimes radically improving them.
    3. average speed on a track (taken from williamsf1.com). some cars behave better on slow tracks, some on quick courses. these speed datas are the avg speed of the fastest lap of each race. of course the Chinese GP in rain doesn’t represent the real character of that track.
    4. track temperature (taken from williamsf1.com). different cars have different impact on their tyres, but track temperature changes everything, as we could see with Brawn.

    so let’s highlight some interesting tendencies at the teams:

    1. Brawn
    Brawn was one of the most consistent teams during the season. After Turkey they had problems on the low temperature GPs, and suffered in Hungary due to the lack of car developments. For the end of the year, the “other” team equipped with Mercedes engine got ahead of them.

    2. Red Bull
    Red Bull was a top team all year, but after the updates in Britain they really flew. in Italy they changed the aeroparts (narrower nose for example) back in order fit the low downforce requirements, but that was a mistake and resulted in their weakest performance this year. After that, till the end of the year they ruled the tracks.

    3. McLaren
    One of the top teams of last year, struggling in the first half of the season. The lowest point was on their homeground in Silverstone, where they dropped the KERS and didn’t bring in any car developments. But from Germany they launched a stunning attack to the top of the grid, and if Hamilton didn’t blow the start on the Nurburgring, the glory could have been extended. The relatively weak performance in Belgium wasn’t really weak, but there were some cars especially well set up for the those conditions. At the end of the year they got on the same level as Brawn, but had an advantage: KERS.

    4. Ferrari
    The other top team from last year, also struggled. The Monaco performance was a bit misleading, but considering their pace on the similary slow Hungaroring, it’s obvious, the Ferrari worked very well with high downforce settings. They had their best car in Hungary, and although there were some car developments, it has actually stopped after the accident of Massa, as Ferrari knew, none of the current drivers will work for them next year. The lack of car updates resulted in poor and poorer performances at the end of the year, although Räikkönen had some brilliant races overfulfilling the capabilities of his car.

    5. Toyota
    This team is the mistery of the year. Front row in Bahrein, a few weeks later last row in Monaco… The car reacted inconsequently to upgrades except for Hungary and Japan. This resulted in good performance in every second race, and weak performance for the rest. I remember Trulli after the Spa-qualifying interviews, he was just surprised, as the car sucked last week in Valencia. I’m confused about it as well.

    6. BMW
    The weak season opening costed them dear, the most consistently improving team in the last 3 years struggled, and the 3rd place at constructors from last year seemed too far, so the Munich-based board abandoned the project. Their experiment with KERS wasn’t satisfying. As they were looking for a possibly buyer, there were some key car updates made in order to attract those. For the last third of the season they landed regularily in points.

    7. Williams
    The Grove based team had an excellent season overall, but their middle season was really exceptional. Rosberg had a point scoring streak of GPs from Spain to Spa. Williams didn’t bring in too many developments, but was the only team that updated the car for the last GP – unfortunately with no result.

    8. Renault
    They started this year almost as weak as in 2008, but last year they made an unbelivable comeback for the 2nd half of the season. This was missing this year, but the reason why, is obvious. Last year they needed to keep their world champion, and delivering him a competitive car, which he could win races with, was enough. But the last years developments cost dear, as they couldn’t allocate enough resources for the R29, and as the departure of the Spaniard wasn’t really a secret, they didn’t made any efforts to improve the car. However, compared to the limits of his car, I think Alonso made one of the best jobs this year. He could have finished on podium in Hungary and in Belgium as well with that car.

    9. Force India
    Can we consider this year as the brakthrough of Force India? I would say not. They beginned with being at the very back of the grid, and they finished the year at the very back of the grid. Interestingly 2 completley different tracks were their highest moments, the superslow Monaco, and the superfast Spa and Monza. This car behaved radically different with different downforce settings, it was one of the bests with low downforce. The good qualification results of Sutil didn’t represent the actual place of the car on the grid, he just had luck.

    10. Toro Rosso
    Theoretically the same construction as the Red Bull car, just with Ferrari engine. This combintion beated the “big brother” last year, and that’s what Christian Horner didn’t want to repeat. Toro Rosso gained the Red Bull updates in Hungary, and performed much better immediatelly. The truth is, that Red Bull need more cars to be able to finish between them and the Brawns, and although that didn’t really happen, Toro Rosso fought it’s way up to the middle teams for the end of the season.

    • mp4-19b said on 9th November 2009, 14:02

      Really nice analysis Andrew. But the biggest dud of the season has to be BMW. After all the noises they made last year, I have to say it was a total flop show & to make matters worse they’ve chickened out.

      • yeah, agreed, the BMW story wasn’t sympathic at all. i can accept that they blew up designing a competitive car as for the racing department, but i can’t accept that the board filled with bosses who have never seen an F1 car, just maybe from TV, can judge wheter they need the team or not. they struggled this year, but at the end of the season they developed the car into a quite decent hardware, so the potential is still given.

        i don’t blame the engineers, the drivers, it’s okay, but the reaction of the board for the first sign of unsuccess is unacceptable.

        PS: also check the pic under this comment, i failed to insert it properly into the analysis comment. the text refers to the charts sometimes.

    • James said on 9th November 2009, 15:33

      Sutil had bad luck, not good luck in qualifying where he did. The fuel loads he used (and Fisi in Spa) were competitive and not outragous. The lad has speed and tallent, he just isnt joining up all the dots during the race. I hope, and expect, bigger points haul for next year from him. He is still maturing.

      With regards to Williams, they had a so-so season. It was Rosberg doing all the hardwork really. Even when Nakajima had a decent grid position he still ballsed it up

      • well, i don’t want to be harsh on Sutil and his supporters, but i don’t really consider him as one of the futures hot prospects.
        he has certainly got the speed, and maybe the best driver in rain, no question about it, and that part seems quite allright.
        for being quick and drive well in wet conditions you don’t neccessarily have raffic around you. and here comes the problematic part, as soon as it gets down to a 1-on-1 with somebody, at least one of them won’t survive the manouver. i have to say that he is involved in too many incidents and crashes, and many of them is caused by himself. reminds me of the young Sato a little bit, which means he is going to calm down one day.
        he served 3 years at a tailender team, and possibly he’ll begin his 4th ther in 2010. i don’t remember any drivers serving that much at Minardi or Jordan or Tyrrell just go back a bit more. the situation used to be, that if you’re a rookie at a small team like that, at the end of your first season the justice is coming, and if you performed well, a mid-class team will pick you up, if you didn’t, you can earn your bread as a taxi driver.
        Sutil remained in F1, at the same team, which means he has the potential, but the bigger teams didn’t want to risk so many avoidable crashes with their cars.
        i think that if he is treated by his 3 seasons F1 performance, he is massively overrated, but if he calms down a little bit, and accepts to lose a battle but finish the rae in one piece, he has a bright future.

        • James said on 9th November 2009, 19:06

          Sutil was actually almost signed for Mclaren back in 2008. It was only because Kovy was driving for Renault, and their agents agreed on a straight swap for Alonso that he didnt end up there.

          Also remember that Force India have in fact promoted themselves to a midfield team this year, I’d say that of this years grid, they should have been around 7th out of the 10. Next year there are 4 (potentially 5 assuming Qadback or whoever replace Toyota sort themselves out). So next year, they could actually be the 6th or 7th team out of the 12 or 13. That is tailend terrortry, that’s midfield.

          Force India could yet be on the podiun a couple of times next season.

          I should also stress I’m not a supporter of Force India or Adrian Sutil, but I can recognise tallent and I can recognise potential when I see it. Spyker were 2.5 seconds of the pace in 2007, last year Force India were 1.5 to 2 seconds off the pace and this year, Force India have been on the pace, or a second off it at worst (at least in last 7 grands prix)

          Don’t write them off now, 2009 has only just finished.

          • Patrickl said on 9th November 2009, 21:28

            Hamilton likes Sutil, because he found it easy to beat Sutil when they were teammates before. Big bonus was that Sutil didn’t make a big deal out of it and just suffered the humiliation.

          • James said on 9th November 2009, 22:12

            God I should proof read before I click that magic submit button…

          • i agree Patrickl, and that’s why papa Hamilton wants to stay Kovalainen as well. basically, anyone that would sign to McLaren with Hamilton onboard, his career would damaged.

            @James: as i said, i have nothing against neither Sutil, nor Force India. my statement was rather raional than emotional considering the performance of the German. the development of the team is really welcomed, but i assume it was mainly Fisichella that had his share on the improved car.

  5. http://www.mypicx.com/uploadimg/1887820287_11092009_1.jpg

    no it doesn’t, so here’s the link for the pic

  6. “For only the second time this decade, Ferrari ended a year without a world championship.” – Should this not be 3? 2005, 2006 and now 2009

  7. Roger Carballo AKA Architrion said on 9th November 2009, 13:20

    My best team this year has to be the Red Bull. Without the double diffusor issue and all the politics surrounding it (Max Mosley, his battle against huge budgets, and his need to show to the world that a privateer team could be world champion without so much money as Ferrari), it would have been world champion from coast to coast. And it has come with some brilliant engineering innovations like that inverted rear suspension, and magnificent aerodynamics.

    The worst car of the year, and maybe of the decade, was that piece of a tractor named Renault. Their inability to modify their front wing throught the six first races is to be prized with the nobel of the antiengineering. When the season begun, they said that this car was to be world champion….. JESUSCHRIST!!

  8. Ned Flanders said on 9th November 2009, 13:23

    Nico Rosberg may have had some good races but on the whole Williams were so anonymous. They didn’t even manage a podium, which means they only have 3 in the last 4 years. They’ve gone longer since their last pole (back in 05) than any other team. They’ve barely even challenged for a win in years.

    And worst of all they’re taking over Ferrari’s role as the FIA backed antagonist by betraying FOTA over budget caps, not allowing Sauber to stay in F1, planning to use KERS despite the agreement to drop it etc…

    • Williams had no choice but to sign up with the FIA during the budget cap row. They had already received an advance on their Concorde Agreement money and were therefore legally obliged to remain in F1.

      The rest of the time, they were simply looking out for their own interests. They have invested heavily in KERS and argued that an extra team in F1 would dilute the TV and prize money for all teams, which they rely on more than any other current team. Wouldn’t you have done the same?

      • Ned Flanders said on 9th November 2009, 13:53

        But they were in the same position as Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Ferrari, who didn’t let FOTA down.

        If all the F1 teams had of crumbled like Williams (and Force India), then there would be no FOTA, Bernie would be able to keep all of the F1 revenue, and the Spankmeister would still be in power

        • As far as I know Williams were the only team who had received Concorde Agreement money before a new agreement was signed. Basically they needed the money to survive, so Bernie gave them an advance (which later proved to be extremely useful politically).

          As for Max, he got what he wanted – the teams agreeing to reduce spending, if not in the way that he had envisaged. Even if he had “won” the FIA-FOTA conflict more emphatically, I still feel he would have stepped down in October.

        • Even if Williams were in the exact same position contractually as Red Bull and Ferrari, the legal advice they received at the time may have been different.

          Also Williams only exist to go racing in F1 and they don’t have a manufacturer or a billionaire owner, so even if Red Bull or Ferrari privately thought they too were legally obliged to sign with the FIA then the risk for them of breaking the contract would not be as great as it would be to Williams.

        • They were not in the same situation as the other teams. They don’t just have contracts with they FOM, they also have loans that stipulate they must enter the FIA Formula 1 championship. So if they didn’t sign, they went bankrupt.

      • Icthyes said on 9th November 2009, 14:24

        They did have a choice when to announce it, and doing so two days before the deadline, unlike Force India, cost FOTA some moral capital they might have needed had things gone a bit differently.

    • steph90 said on 9th November 2009, 13:44

      And worst of all they’re taking over Ferrari’s role as the FIA backed antagonist

      Please soften towards Ferrari and let Williams be the new evil :P

      • yeah, that’s just damn right. maybe uncle Frank was having his period when
        1. he went against FOTA and signed first for the FIA 2010 entry list,
        2. he said no to the Schumacher-test
        3. he said no to the Sauber entry
        4. he said no for “no-KERS” in 2010

        [/sarcasm]

    • Williams felt they were legally obliged to sign up with the FIA.

      If you want to blame anyone for Sauber potentially not being in F1 next year blame BMW as they are the ones who didn’t sign up to the Concorde Agreement, Williams were against expanding the grid to 14 teams as they believe that F1 cannot support 14 teams financially or practically in terms of space at some circuits. Also some other teams are supposed to share this view its just that they didn’t go public like Williams.

      • mp4-19b said on 9th November 2009, 14:13

        Really miss the glory day of Williams. Dunno why they’ve fallen apart so badly. Just goes to show how badly the departure of one genius(Newey)can affet the whole team for an entire decade.

        Dunno what’s it with Williams. They produced really mediocre chassis during their 6 year partnership with BMW, which was unquestionably the most powerful engine of its time. From 2006 onwards they seem to have improved on the aero & chassis side, but choose wrong engines. I think they’ve taken a big gamble with Cosworth for 2010.

        • Ciaran said on 9th November 2009, 17:13

          Yeah, I miss Williams at the top as well. They might do well next year, just depends on how good the Cosworth engines are.

  9. The team I was probably most impressed by would be Force India, although McLaren’s return to form in the latter half of the season was also impressive, given their experience and resources I think Force India’s achievement was the greater of the two.

    After pre-season testing we already knew that the McLaren was slow, so my biggest disappointment was probably BMW Sauber. Not only because of their performance, after they gave up developing the F1.08 early in favour of this year’s car, but also because they decided to quit F1 when things didn’t go to plan.

  10. Icthyes said on 9th November 2009, 14:31

    My team of the year is Red Bull. If Brawn were still Honda then half the hype wouldn’t be there. The car was in development longer than the other teams’, with a budget greater than all but one of the teams who didn’t get the rules wrong at first. Yes they stopped developing early, but having had the magic DDD advantage for 7 races meant they could afford to. Yes, the car was a bit of a botch job, but I’m sure that Mercedes engined gave them a few more points than they might have, and F1 cars are so complicated that who knows, having to mess around with the car might have brought them further advantages in specific situations. The fact that Red Bull were practically 6 or so races behind Brawn and challenged them for both titles is truly impressive.

    Most improved has to go to Force India and yes, they should have won a race, but I guess Ferrari not winning at Spa is against the law these days ;-)

    • mp4-19b said on 9th November 2009, 14:44

      Yes I agree. Team of the year has to be Red Bull. If they only had a merc engine.

      Keith is correct when he mentions the fact that the Brawn was probably to most expensive car ever built,but operating on the lowest operating budget. DDD & merc cost Red Bull both the championships.

      They recovery of the year has to be Mclaren. No doubt.

    • Patrickl said on 9th November 2009, 15:02

      Why do people keep claiming that Red Bull was behind Brawn for 6 races?

      They were fastest already in races 3, 4 and 5 (China, Bahrain and Spain) Monaco was close until they blew it in Q3. Turkey they were fastest again.

      That’s 4 or 5 out of the first 7 where they were faster or at the very least extremely close.

      Strategy errors, lack of overtaking skills and driver errors led to a lack of results, but the car was there!

      The Red Bull car is the car of the year by miles.

      Though, I guess the team of the year isn’t Red Bull because they lost with the best car.

      • mp4-19b said on 9th November 2009, 15:13

        Yes I stand correct here. “CAR” of the year goes to Red Bull.

        I’m still not sure as to how Renault ended up with inferiors V8′s. In fact they were the first team to have a completely developed V8′s in 2006, when it was reintroduced. It was the most powerful engine of 2006. Yet, people talk as to how underpowered it is compared to Merc & Ferrari. Strangely, Merc was one of the most underpowered V8′s in 2006. Dunno how they’ve caughup & surpassed all.

        • Dunno how they’ve caughup & surpassed all.

          Easy. Distance from Cosworth to Ilmor is merely 10 miles. When the first closed its F1 department at the end of 2006, guess where all the engineers went…

          On top of that, the way they interpret the engine freeze seems to involve spending more on R&D than they did before…

      • Icthyes said on 9th November 2009, 23:53

        Maybe not all 6, but saying they were better at Turkey is a bit of a stretch. Like Hungary, they had good one-lap pace but the race pace just wasn’t there. Barcelona we’ll never know because Massa held up Vettel. Monaco I entirely disagree with, Brawn were miles ahead that day. I agree with Bahrain though.

    • couldn’t agree more, spot on!

  11. I would like to remind those who think because Ferrari started the development of their 2010 car early will therefore be a race winner, that BMW did exactly thesame in 2008 prompting Kubica to lambast them for not giving him the chance to win the championship.

    Most disappointing are the rest diffusser-brigade who did not make it up to podiums and/or could not contest at all (Toyota/Williams) :-(

    The recovery of the MP4-24 is worth mentioning though… :-)

  12. mp4-19b said on 9th November 2009, 15:35

    And will this be the last season when Toro Rosso stop aping Red Bull? Really, its high time they designed their own stuff. I really used to appreciate Minardi & their independent thinking.

  13. Great analysis Keith. Little off-topic, RB5′s pull-rod suspension proved effective both in performance and aerodynamics… how many of the teams do you think will appear with a pull-rod suspension next season? Keith, do you have a detailed post on Pull-Rod suspension in your blog??? if not, would it be possible to have one? a technical post on it would be interesting.

  14. Has to be Force India. That team has gone from the later years of Jordan to Spyker to Midland with as consistent, bona fide crap. When Mallya arrives, in two years you have a car that can fight at the front.

    After getting rid of one, F1 does not need another old man who wears his fancy jeans twosizes too small and who fails to properly button his shirt, but Mallya is earning the right to his airs.

  15. Stuart H said on 9th November 2009, 21:25

    1. Brawn – Good job to come out the box with such a strong, reliable car. Jenson was very consistent early on which paid dividends later in the season. As much as I cant stand them referred to as a fledgling team, they did well to fit merc engine at such short notice and still maintain reliability. Double diffusers are blatently illegal and against the spirit of the new rules but i always like to see clever interpretations.

    2. Red bull – Clean and tight, shrinkwrapped aero package was supreme. Although reliability issues from engine, the rest was good. Must be bitter over the double diffuser saga. Pullrod susp isnt a new idea but it may have worked had it not been for those pesky diffusers.

    3. McLaren – Perhaps aerodynamics needs to catch up with Redbull philosophy because without KERS next year, McLaren could be left high and dry again. Easily the most improved car thanks to outwash front wing and a proper double difffuser, which came a bit late in the day.

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