Virgin Racing launch VR-01

F1 pictures

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

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278 comments on Virgin Racing launch VR-01

  1. Icthyes said on 3rd February 2010, 15:25

    Looks pretty slick. I think Virgin will be a fun team to have on the grid, like a Force India/Red Bull mix.

  2. Deurmat said on 3rd February 2010, 15:36

    Keith, can you make an article over the car lengths? Maybe interessting too see which car is the longest and wich one the shortest…

  3. It’s like a Fórmula Indy car! Very Beautiful!!!

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd February 2010, 16:03

    Added a few more, larger photos.

  5. antonyob said on 3rd February 2010, 16:19

    Whats the spread on how long it takes before, on Martin Brundle grid walk, he stands next to one of Bransons new cars and states categorically that “this is 1 of only 2 virgins on the grid”

  6. antonyob said on 3rd February 2010, 16:35

    hmm perhaps kubica as well. I havent thought this through !

  7. no no kubica is probably fighting them off..
    its always the ugly ones who have it all haha

  8. antonyob said on 3rd February 2010, 16:38

    theres no need to get personal…about Bernie

  9. haha.. bernie ‘heffner’ ecclestone

  10. Why there is only one photo? The other images are renders!

    They have money for a wind tunnel neither for some photos?

  11. sato113 said on 3rd February 2010, 17:06

    yeah, no direct front shots yet?

  12. F1Yankee said on 3rd February 2010, 17:07

    this site is really going crazy. where did all these people come from?

  13. antonyob said on 3rd February 2010, 17:09

    englandshire !

  14. three4three said on 3rd February 2010, 19:16

    Just got in having not been online all day. And wow! That is a gorgeous car right there, and loving the rose and the faded design. Best livery so far IMO. Liking the clean crisp shape of the car too, hope it goes fast.

    Anyone know what Glock and di Grassi’s helmets will look like?

    • BrokenBaculum said on 3rd February 2010, 19:20

      Check their website: and go to ‘Drivers’. Click on each driver and find the photos, and you will see the helmets.

      Timo’s is mainly gold with white and red flashes and Lucas’ is green with white and blue.

      • three4three said on 3rd February 2010, 19:37

        Thanks, I was being a bit lazy!
        I was just trying to picture how they’d go with the car… I think Timo’s will look fantastic with that livery, not so sure about di Grassi’s but at least it’s distinctive.

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 4th February 2010, 1:42

        Timo’s is mainly gold with white and red flashes and Lucas’ is green with white and blue.

        Glock’s looks great, he’d now got one of the best on the grid. I saw a concept of di Grassi’s the other day and it was terrible; his old one was far better. I’m glad to see that it’s changed from that concept – it’s quite similar, but it no longer looks like it has been based on leftover wallpaper from the 1970s.

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