Daily Archives: February 7, 2011

Virgin MVR-02 launched in London

The Marussia Virgin MVR-02

The Marussia Virgin MVR-02

The Marussia Virgin MVR-02 is the 10th F1 car to be launched so far this year.

It was first shown to the public at the BBC Television Centre in London today. Like last year, this car is designed solely by using CFD (Computer Fluid Dynamics) technology.

The air intake at the front of the car is modeled to look like a Marussia B2 road car. Designer Nick Wirth has confirmed that the car has not been created with KERS in mind, claiming the high cost of the unit deterred the team from using it.

The Marussia Virgin MVR-02

The Marussia Virgin MVR-02

In contrast to the other teams, the MVR-02 sports a very low and bulky nosecone. As well as this, a new front wing and a revised rear wing have been added. A new hydraulic system, which had caused severe headaches last year, has already been tested on the Vr-01 last week in Valencia.

One apparent disadvantage to the Virgin team is that Wirth’s CFD system does not yet incorporate underbody aerodynamics. It is unclear how they have solved this problem, although the team have clarified that they have not used a wind tunnel.

Interestingly, Wirth explained that his team had looked at using a front diffuser, similar to Renault:

“We’d heard about that towards the end of last year. It’s very cost-effective and easy 
for us to check other solutions out so I can confirm that we have tried a solution 
very similar to what you see on the other car and it gives results that are very 
different from ours. We’ve actually gone so far as to get our drivers to test it on 
the simulator to see.

We can see why they’ve done it but it takes a team of the financial, human and 
technical resources of Renault – or Lotus – to make that happen. If you’re fighting 
where they are you might be interested in doing it but we’re happy with the solution 
we’ve got.

It is a massive, massive undertaking what they’ve done, getting high-temperature 
exhaust gasses past the fuel system, past the cooling system, past wiring, hydraulics 
and, most important, getting it past safety structures, the side impact structures 
which are not normally tested at anything other than room temperature.

So they’ve obviously got to satisfy the FIA that it’s legal, even when it’s hot, so 
that’s just a massive job and hats off to them for having the bravery to do something 
like that.”

Driver Timo Glock explained his difficulties with the car last year, and why they should make a good start in testing:

“We could be in a good shape for 2011, or in a better shape. ‘Good shape’ doesn’t 
mean scoring points, it means taking a step forward, closer to the midfield teams.

An acceptable level would be very close to teams like Sauber, Toro Rosso, maybe 
Force India.

(Last year) I had some thoughts about ‘bloody hell, what am I doing here?’

Because you’re fighting the whole weekend and then you go into the race and after 
ten laps you get a radio call ‘Timo, you have to come back to the pits’. It was 
quite tough, quite hard.

I just want to drive 800km a day and fall into bed and say ‘OK, I did enough today’, 
and it was not that the car broke down again.

What we have to make sure is at the first test we have to hit the track and drive, 
drive, drive. See where the bad points are on the car to sort them out before the 
first race.

Because if you come to the first race and you’ve got a light of problems then you 
can’t sort it out, you’re already in trouble, and you start on the back foot.”

 

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