Virgin Racing launch VR-01

F1 picturesPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Virgin VR-01

Virgin Racing are the first of the new F1 teams to launch their 2010 car.

See below for more pictures and information about the VR-01.

Designer Nick Wirth has created the VR-01 entirely using Computational Fluid Dynamics computer modelling. This is not a new technology for F1 – but relying on it instead of a wind tunnel to create a new car is a novel approach.

Wirth believes CFD is the best way for teams to develop F1 cars under F1’s new resource restrictions:

Today is a very proud day for everyone involved with Virgin Racing, however on this occasion, where the car is the star, I want to pay tribute to all the amazing people at Wirth Research who deserve so much of the credit for the VR-01. Putting together an F1 team, assembling an engineering group and designing a new car from scratch is an epic task in the timeframe we have been working to.

I have been fortunate to have worked with the very best designers in F1 and I am well aware of exactly what it takes to be successful in this sport. When you see what the existing teams have achieved using the conventional but proven design approach, it is unsurprising that there is a great deal of scepticism about our all-CFD approach. But we are competing in a sport that is undergoing significant change having come face to face with today’s harsh economic realities. Under resource restriction, convention will become too costly and necessity really will be the mother of invention. I have absolute belief in the digital design process and the opportunity to put the all-CFD approach to the test at the highest level – to demonstrate that this could be the way for the future of F1 – is very, very exciting.
Nick Wirth

The team, originally named Manor Motorsport, are using Cosworth’s CA2010 V8 engines this year.

Team principal John Booth said:

Not only do we have a great bunch of people at Virgin Racing, we also have a great-looking car. We are delighted with our fantastic new livery which provides a fitting integration of our racing brand with our important commercial partnerships. All in all, we have a lot to look forward to as we progress towards our racing debut in Bahrain next month.
John Booth

He also explained why the car was not ready in time for the test at Valencia this week:

The first stage in our on-track evaluation programme is our two-day shakedown at Silverstone on Thursday and Friday this week, where we will conduct systematic testing and confidence-building of all car parts and on-car systems. It was always intended that we would miss the first all-team test in Valencia this week and very early on we targeted the second Jerez test in two weeks’ time for our public testing debut. It is a testament to our methodical approach and the sheer hard work of the team that we are heading to Spain a week earlier than planned to take part in the first Jerez test next week.
John Booth

Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson added:

I’m sure we will be measured by how fast the car is on the track in Jerez next week, but I hope that doesn’t overshadow the far bigger achievement of pulling an entire racing team together and taking a brave step that defies convention. In many ways this is an exploration, but given the absolute self-belief we have seen, I can’t help but feel very excited about what we can go on to achieve in the years ahead.

For now though I’m looking forward to seeing the VR-01 on track in testing in the coming weeks as we prepare for Virgin Racing’s very first grand prix.
Richard Branson

Virgin VR-01 pictures

VR-01 dimensions

Length: 5,500mm
Height: 950mm
Width: 1,800mm
Wheelbase: 3,200mm

2010 F1 car launches

Images ?é?® Virgin Racing

278 comments on “Virgin Racing launch VR-01”

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  1. Looks very.. American

  2. TheGreatCornholio
    3rd February 2010, 12:31

    I almost don’t care if that nose is useless, it looks great! A real throw back to older F1 cars and so different to the rest of the cars this year. Lovin the colour scheme too! Lookin forward to seeing them pop their cherry next week.;)

    1. Yes though watercolor steal, if only rode quickly ))))))

  3. wow. :O amazing livery. probably my fave so far. !!!

  4. It looks dreadful…I’m thinking the “art” of painting a race car has been forgotten. You want a black car, and some red and white? Look at a Honda Scoopy in those colors, or a S type Mini…and I’m talking about a scooter and a production car!

    Sometime back someone on this forum did a “Gulf” livery on a F1 car in photo shop…Virgin desperately needs you.

    Cheers, Alex

  5. Insert comment about virgin not putting out as promised.

    And I’ve missed lunch! Eh? Launch, is it? Great heavens, Branson built his spaceship already ???

    All kidding aside, when Branson DOES get the spaceship built, one can only hope the launch goes better than this one.

    Still, black & red is always good together. I’m intensely interested to see what the car does on the track. Can’t wait for them to get to Jerez and show what a total CFD-designed car can do.

    1. Lunch is sacred. Branson fellow, but the mere desire not to make this car go fast, if there are no secret solutions, like Adrian Newey

  6. There’s a new angle on the car on the Virgin Racing homepage:

    1. Nice catch. Whats your opinion about the car?
      Imo it looks quite groundbraking. Where other, conventional windtunnel teams, are using flips and flaps to create more downforce. Here the team has developed a clean car without overdone high noses or hipponoses like Renault last season.

      1. We want turbos
        3rd February 2010, 12:56

        I thought they had completly ignored what happened in 2010, however looking from the front looks more like it! Although as has been said very plain f wing maybe hiding something?

    2. That is a really nice looking car.
      The nose has taken something from the RB5 and the sidepod openings are as small as McLaren’s are.

      I like the flowery pattern on the wing and sides.

    3. reminds me of mp4/22 nose plus V and kink

  7. the-muffin-man
    3rd February 2010, 12:52

    Nice to see a 2010 car with some sponsorship on it!!!

  8. Here are more pictures of the car

  9. now that they have the first pictures out, their website is renewed with pictures etc.

    did anybody name the cars?

  10. Virgin have put the video of the launch up:

  11. This one is going to be a dark horse in the championship they will be like death & his scythe to the new teams, cosworth cars and back markers & i reckon the cosworth engine will surprise to.

    Am i the only one that thinks the Sauber C29 looks like a predator? the bmw chassis from 08 was nearly there they dropped the ball a little in 09 but i think this one has got it to mix it up and cause grief amongst the big boys (not saying a brawn story)

    Bring on the new new talent good luck to all new teams and rookie drivers i hope they smash it up against the older crop and cause panic and disorder amongst the developed ranks this is going to be a killer season!

    1. In all my years of watching F1 I can safely say that I have never heard someone describe a car as “death scything through the pack”! ;-)

      1. Can i nominate myself for comment of the day Keith?

        “death scything through the pack” cheers GeeMac

        CFD all the way

  12. I don’t like the livery, colour is ok just the general design. The car doesn’t look bad though. I wonder if in their shakedown they’ll be trying to do stuff they would have ideally done in a wind tunnel before they made the final car.

  13. They will be “death scything through the pack” didnt you hear?

  14. OMG that’s a great looking caaaaaaaaaar!

  15. That video was good. Hope Glock does well this year – nice bloke.

  16. Just a great and refreshing paint job on the Virgin Car.
    Looks like it will be the most promising new team on the grid!

  17. Man that’s a badass looking car. o_O

  18. I willing to bet that the VR-01 races/tests with a much more complex front wing, as complex as sauber probably, or more. his front end on the Acura prototypes was significantly more fiddly, even had the needle nose. i’m sure this’ll have a few novel features, whether it actually means a competitive car i do not know…
    ( i do realise the Acura mentality included wide, rear sized front tyres, as opposed to F1 going the other way, but clearly such a simple wing is going to be way off in F1 2010)

  19. I’ve had a problem getting on to this site a few times lately but it dosn’t mean I’m going to slag it off!

    Good luck to Virgin, wind tunnels have led some (quite major) teams down some dead ends lately so lets see how they do.

    The Cosworth engine is probably the biggest ‘IF’

  20. It looks a bit more orange in the daylight:

    1. Indeed, yes, it is disappointingly far more orange than red. Ah, well, I still like it. Can’t remember the last time an F1 car had graphics on it simply because it looked good. The rather Celtic-looking pattern on the front wing carries through on the fin and rear wing struts, and I think looks quite good. First time in years that just looking at an F1 car has brought a real smile to my face. If it races as good as it looks, the rest of the teams are in big trouble.

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