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DATE News (chronologically)
12/27/08
f1
2009 F1 launch schedule
The 2009 season looks set to be the most unpredictable season in over a decade thanks to the biggest overhaul in the technical regulations within the same timeframe. Thanks to the rule changes car launches this year will take place later than usual, with the earliest announced launch to date scheduled for mid-January. 2009 also sees a change in the way cars are launched, with just one team expected to unveil their car at an old-style launch ceremony. Thanks to the cost cuts, low-key roll-outs of the 2009 challengers has become the norm.

The earliest of the announced launches to date will take place on January 15th, with Toyota unveiling their TF109 to the media on the Internet, the first launch of its kind in F1. The first outing of the new car will be in Portugal at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, where the team will complete a three-day test.

Toyota's mid-January launch will be followed a day later by McLaren's unveiling at their Woking headquarters on 16th January. To date, McLaren is the only team to confirm an official launch ceremony, although they have confirmed that the launch will be a much more low-key event than previous years.

On 19th January, Renault will unveil their R29 at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, unwapping their latest challenger in the morning before immediately track-testing it for the first time at 09.00 local time.

At the same venue on the same day, Williams will pull the wraps of their Toyota-powered 2009 contender, the FW31. Like Renault they will unveil the car before giving it its track debut at the test track at 09.00. The car will run in an interim winter livery for the duration of pre-season testing, before the team unveils its 2009 race livery on 27th February, once all commercial deals have been finalised.

The final launch that has been confirmed to date is BMW Sauber's unveiling of their F1.09. Like Renault and Williams, they BMW will unveil and test their car on the same day, this time at the permanent race track in Valencia on 20 January.

All other teams are yet to make their plans official, but it's expected that Ferrari will launch their F2009 during mid-January like most other teams. Red Bull and Toro Rosso are expected to wait until February to unveil their RB5 and STR4 respectively, while Force India won't test their Mercedes-powered VJM02 until March.

As for the former Honda team, it's more than likely their 2009 contender will be unveiled and run at a test track during January or February, if a buyer is found before it's too late. Manipe F1
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