Technical analysis of BMW's updates

Having made no significant changes to its car since the season began, BMW Sauber has prepared a significant upgrade for this weekend's Spanish GP

Technical analysis of BMW's updates

The changes are far ranging, but the car retains the F1.09 title and has not gained a "B" spec suffix. As a result, the car has appeared in the Barcelona pit lane with a new nose and front wing, revised sidepods and rear wing.

The chassis has also seen a weight reduction programme to aid weight distribution for the re-sited KERS system. However, the car has yet to appear with a double-deck diffuser, whose introduction has been delayed for two races.

Through 2008, the BMW Sauber team was the most aggressive both in its early season development and in the design of the solutions it produced. But despite an early start to the 2009 car programme, the F1.09 brought to the opening four races was far too conservative.

In detail, the Barcelona specification is a quite a radical overhaul and innovative in several areas. Starting at the front, the nose has been raised to create more space between it and the front wing for the extra turning vanes mounted to the nose cone.

Then the sidepods have had a complete reworking, the bulky sidepods complete with the wedge-shaped KERS cooling inlet have gone, replaced by a more contemporary solution.

Pictures of the cars stripped in the garage show that the KERS hardware has been relocated to other areas. This has allowed the radiators to be brought inwards and the inlets have been reshaped to create a larger undercut. To the side of this, the pod wings have been made much larger and complex.

Lastly and grabbing a lot of attention has been the revised rear wing, with the revised mounting struts and a supplementary winglet. This winglet sits in the 15cm free zone in the middle of the rear wing and sitting to high up in the airflow would be capable of creating efficient downforce.

Lastly, the diffuser does not yet have the double decker format, such as Brawn use. However, the new diffuser looks less obstructed by the rear crash structure than before and does follow Brawn's solution of having a flap to close the starter hole to help maintain the low pressure within the diffuser.

The sum of these bodywork changes, as well as the lightening work on the chassis, means BMW Sauber has made a large step to catch up the rest of the field in design terms.

But only when the double-decker set-up arrives in Turkey will the team be on a par with them, but by then it will already be round seven in a 18-race season. Catching up on pace might be possible, but to catch up on points for the championship may already be too late.

shares
comments
Q & A with BMW Sauber's Willy Rampf
Previous article

Q & A with BMW Sauber's Willy Rampf

Next article

Barcelona circuit honours Hamilton

Barcelona circuit honours Hamilton
Load comments
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022