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While manufacturers like BMW, Honda, Jaguar, and Toyota have abandoned Formula One, Mercedes has increased their efforts in the world’s most popular form of racing by purchasing the 2009 World Championship Team, Brawn GP, to create Mercedes GP Petronas. With the McLaren team keeping Lewis Hamilton and adding 2009 World Champion Jenson Button it looked like it was going to be an easy decision who to cheer for in March. Now it has been announced that 7 time World Champion Michael Schumacher is coming out of retirement and has signed a 3 year contract to drive for Mercedes GP. Between this and the debut of the new US F1 Team, 2010 is shaping up to be a very interesting season.
It has been a pretty bad year for the Mercedes-Benz factory Formula One team. Until now the only bright spot for Mercedes-Benz fans had been the performance of the Mercedes powered Brawn GP cars. With Lewis Hamilton’s dominating win in Hungary last weekend it looks like McLaren Mercedes is back on top. It’s a little late in the season but it looks like we’ll have a lot more to cheer for in the upcoming races
With the announcement that four time Champ Car Champion Sebastien Bourdais will be returning to the Toro Rosso team, 75% of the drivers for Red Bull’s two Formula One teams will now share the same name.
The changes to the rules for the 2009 season are the most significant in several years and as a result the cars will look quite a bit different. The largest change can be seen in the updated rear wing that appears to be about half the size of last years. The new rules limiting the aerodynamics of the cars have added an interesting new feature in that driver adjustable front wing flaps will be legal for 2009. While this brings F1 cars one step closer to the airplanes they share so much technology with, it will also provide one more area for an amazing driver like Lewis Hamilton to show off his skills.
2009 will also see the introduction of the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) to Formula One. These systems will store the energy used slow the car and then allow it to be used later for increased acceleration. The KERS device on the new McLaren Mercedes will be able to provide a boost of 80hp for 6.7 seconds per lap. Depending on the circuit this will decrease lap times by 0.3 to 0.5 seconds.
It’s only 67 days till the first race of the 2009 season in Melbourne, Australia. I can’t wait!