The new BMW Sauber F1.09 Formula One car was unveiled in Valencia, and Robert Kubica was the first to take the car out for a spin at the Spanish circuit. Like its competitors, the new F1 regulations have ruined its aesthetics. The 3-piece front wing stretches across the full width of the car while the rear wing is now slimmer and is unusually high. The front axle has been modified and the rear axle is a new design.
“We have set ourselves the task of further improving our performance relative to the rest of the field. The 1-2 in Canada and a total of eleven podium finishes in 2008 set an exacting standard. In 2009 we are looking to maintain our first-class reliability record while at the same time enhancing our performance levels so that we can be at the front of the pack on a consistent basis. We are aware that we are aiming extremely high. This is the final step in our development, and that’s generally the hardest one to take,” said BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen.
The new car will also have the KERS system, which was developed in Munich under the watch of Markus Duesmann, Head of Powertrain. It isn’t quite ready yet but is expected to be ready by the Melbourne race. Chassis development was the responsibility of Walter Riedl along with his technical team based in Hinwil, Switzerland.
The first shake-down comprised of 73 laps and went smoothly without a hitch. Kubica said they’ve already learned alot about how the car is responding to setup changes, but there was a slight lack of grip than usual despite the slick tyres because there was only one car on the track, so it wasn’t sufficiently warmed up. The car will continue testing in Valencia until Saturday.
Look after the jump for a video of the unveiling and the maiden lap.
Video: BMW Sauber F1.09 unveiling at Valencia