Comeback for the hammerhead

Andrew Hopkins

Wakey, wakey! Time to come out of hibernation. Barely a fortnight has passed since the championship thriller in Brazil and the world of Formula One has already begun to prepare for the next season.

But while exhausted late risers amongst the F1 fan base are still rubbing the sleep out of their eyes, others have already pinched themselves to make sure they are not dreaming: the new racing cars really do look different from before!

On Day One of testing in Barcelona, BMW Sauber showed off for the first time the new aerodynamic look designed to comply with the regulations for 2009. The fans were stunned by what they saw: an angular, edgy double-decker front wing, a high, box-shaped rear wing looking a bit like a toy, and somewhere in between, invisible to the bystander, is the new KERS energy recovery system.

But to return to the external features, the new front wing with its broad nose and box-like format is vaguely reminiscent of the 2004 Williams BMW, known in the trade as the 'hammerhead' (see mini photo). What other surprises can we expect to see in 2009?