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FIRST PICS: Interim 2009 F1 car hits the track.

Formula 1 2009 is go this week in Barcelona – with teams fielding cars that look somewhat different to those of the season just passed…

The raft of sweeping regulation and aerodynamic changes for the new campaign has meant the interim winter testing machines are featuring not only slick tyres again and KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) technology, but also – rather more noticeably – wider, lower front wings and significantly taller, narrower rear ones.

Drivers in action around the Circuit de Catalunya are Luca Badoer and Marc Gené for defending world champions Ferrari – with record-breaking MotoGP star Valentino Rossi due to take to the track for the Scuderia in a private two-day test session at Mugello later on in the week – Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett for McLaren-Mercedes, Robert Kubica, Nick Heidfeld and Christian Klien for BMW-Sauber, Sébastien Bourdais, Sébastien Buemi and Takuma Sato for Scuderia Toro Rosso and Jenson Button, Alex Wurz and GP2 Series front-runners Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi for Honda.

Of even more interest, finally, will be the appearance of five-time consecutive World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb alongside namesake Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull Racing, and World Series by Renault Champion Giedo van der Garde at Renault with regular driver Nelsinho Piquet, as a reward for the Dutchman's title-winning campaign.

To see the new cars in action, click here


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Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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