Virgin MVR-02

Virgin MVR-02 launch – first pictures

2011 F1 carsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Virgin have launched their 2011 F1 car, the MVR-02.

The car was launched at BBC Television Centre in London.

As last year, the car was designed entirely using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), without using a wind tunnel.

Following the arrival of Russian sports car company Maurssia as an investor the team are now registered under a Russian licence. The air intake on the front of the MVR-02 is designed to resemble the one on Marussia’s B2 road car.

The car will run for the first time in the Jerez test later this week. Some of the car’s internals, including its hydraulics, were already run on the VR-01 at Valencia last week.

Designer Nick Wirk confirmed the MVR-02 has not been designed to use KERS, citing the expense of developing the technology as a reason for its absence.

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185 comments on “Virgin MVR-02 launch – first pictures”

  1. I’m underwhelmed!! :)

    1. yeah, looks like it’s going nowhere fast. At least the livery is a slight improvement… I think? Looks a bit dinky.

    2. Underwhelmed is the perfect word. I wasn’t keen on last year’s, but now they’ve lost the tribal pattern and added the white it looks even more like it’s made out of lego.

      1. my sentiments exactly.. Lego is exactly what I thought of, and I’ve commented elsewhere before hand to prove it.

      2. And here is ‘Timo Block’ in the new Virgin Marussia, complete with Lego sponsors and such..

        http://twitpic.com/3xdzye

    3. It’s obvious Wirth’s CFD doesn’t yet support under body aerodynamics, so he has chosen to ignore it.
      Okay he chiselled the sidepods a bit, but that isn’t from CFD, but from visual inspection of other team cars.

      Teams with the raised nose have decided to sacrifice some losses in drag for maximising downforce, but Wirth is looking for straight line speed, forgetting that F1 is really more about what you do in the corners.

      It should be faster than last years car even though that isn’t as a result of CFD but copying a few design cues from the established teams.

      If you program your CFD to say yes! yes! yes! for any design that its fed, this is what you end up with as the output.

      1. I think they’ve forgotten to update their CFD program to the 2011 version.

        Always keep up to date with the latest versions of your software, people!

      2. miguelF1O (@)
        7th February 2011, 18:50

        yep not good enough

      3. Isn’t the nose discussion the other way around? With a nose that is pointed down, there is a larger surface area that is exposed to the oncoming air, creating a higher downwards force. With a nose pointed straight forwards, the air is channeled under and over the nose. One would think that this would create less force acting to push the front wheels down… Or at least that’s my reasoning, please correct me if I’m wrong.

        1. You’d be right, but the high nose allows for cleaner airflow under the car, especially to the rear diffuser and rear wing. This is what they are refering to.

          I think… :/

    4. I feel like the Virgin team mistakingly thinks that the ugliest, plainest, worst design is what F1 is all about… I wonder if Nick thinks the highest score wins the hole in golf too?

    5. About the same level as the lotus.

  2. killer!

    hope it smashes the rear end of the grid!

    1. I dont know what that means, but.. Yay! Go Team!

        1. Okay, so comparing last years car to this year what we can see aero-wise that should improve the car is that the nose is much much wider than last years and has a scalloped shape rather than rounded. Additionally have a look at the front end of the floor; its much longer and is supported by a bit of carbon fiber attaching the front. I suspect this alone will make the car 3-4 seconds a lap faster. The other noticeable change is the rear suspension arms are attachaed much further forward and sweep back. Oh, and the radiator openings are rounded though I don’t think the computer got that part of the equation quite right.

  3. Looks just like last year’s machine with a splodge of white on the nose. Maybe this is all that the CFD can produce.

    1. The front wing looks much more involved. I cant remember last years front wing.

      The underside of the car will be telling too. But yeah, I’m not grabbed by my senses and flung through an epic journey excitement and discovery by it, that’s for sure.

    2. It’s got a bigger fuel tank!

      Seriously, at first sight I really had a bit of trouble finding the differences apart from the white nose.

      But after having a closer look, it seems the nose is just as low this year, clearly against the general trend. It is wider, just like all the noses. The back looks pretty large, altough it is low.
      A moment ago the pictures and tech data they had on their site disappeared again, what is that about?

      1. It’s sponsored by Virgin Media? So it has unreliable internet access as standard. Plus there’s a days delay on the call out to have a look at it every time. Alternatively someone in a call center might be able to press a button and reset the whole site, but they could be based in India, and may not understand the accent… So to be honest, it’s best to wait :)

        1. On the plus side, virtually every issue can be resolved by “doing a hard reset” – i.e. turning it off and on again. Will be useful when those gearbox gremlins creep in!

        2. I have been with Virgin media for around 10 years (through various company changes) and I can only remember maybe 3 times where my internet has gone down. To be honest, although their call centre is dire the actual services have been fantastic for me.

          1. I was with Virgin Media, back when they were NTL and for a few years after… I can tell you stories that would make your brain hurt.

            I can’t stand them. Not the management as such, but what they inherited. Nightmare, I’ve got a headache just thinking about it.

            ( they actually gave me something like 6 months of free services, because they screwed up so often.. of course, I had to call them every other day to sort it all out )

          2. I’ve found Virgin Media pretty good in the 6 years I’ve been with them.

            Although I did have to talk to 7 different people over the course of 3 phone calls and 2 hours to get them to re-activate my subscription in-between uni years.

    3. That is exactly my sentiments. I still feel that Keith somehow posted the file C:/F1Launches/Virgin/VirginLaunch2010 instead of the ”””’/…2011 file.
      What is different about this car? Honestly, the car was slow last year, why make the same slow car again? They’d have been much smarter trying to draw up a car based on the RB6 aero.

      1. Yep. The Team Lotus approach of putting together something vastly different from last year and much more aggressive would have been the approach to take. You’d think with all their CFD power as well, it would be much more feasible for them to test a multitude of designs than other teams who are using models in wind tunnels… Maybe the secrets are all in the floor and it’ll be shockingly fast, but I doubt it.

      2. Well, that’s a fascinating element of F1 design. Why not just copy the WCC car? We HAVE seen teams apparently basically rip off the form of other cars. Toyota once basically cloned a Ferrari, STR ran basically identical cars to RBR a couple seasons. It certainly didn’t seem to mean they had performance better than rivals who went their own way. In the end, if you basically trace a successful car, but don’t understand the concept and its finer elements, you are stuck at whatever level of performance you get out of the box—or worse, end up with a basically unbalanced car that you can’t set up. Cloning a Newey car seems especially hazardous, where the details are driven as much by immense experience and keen instinct, as much as CFD.

        1. I agree with your thoughts, only that in this case the car was 3-4 seconds a lap too slow last year and I can’t see that gap disappearing without making major changes in line with what other teams were doing last year that they were not. One can’t copy something and expect the same results, but the ideas that are there to see can be tested and implemented. Further, the STR and Red Bull cars have had different engine suppliers so it is tough to say that the aero on the STR was all that poor. The car did quite well on numerous occassions so perhaps copying the big sister isn’t such a bad idea in the end (when you have a limited budget).

          1. That was the reason Williams and Force India (Spyker at the time) were so much against it.

            There they were, working hard and putting a load of effort into building their own contraption and along comes STR without any development cost safe putting a Ferrari engine into the RB car and they win a race!

            As for the Virgin. I am very much suprised as well, the car looks so close to last years.
            It can hardly be a big improvement, just getting the hydraulics working (that helps their woefull reliability, not speed) and polishing out the details, can it?
            If it does work, they will really make a lot of others look fools for putting in all their effort ;-)

  4. Awesome car…

    1. lol more liek
      TIMO GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

      amirite?

      Please let him go to Renault, that’s not going to be battling the established teams.

      1. What are you guys basing your criticisms on? I mean come on! sure it doesn’t look special, but hell, have you guys seen it on track or something?

        Personally I hope they can move up closer to the mid-field, I think aiming to be in the mid-field is aiming to high, but getting closer is a requirement.

  5. Did they change anything, hard to tell on mobile?

    1. Its hard to judge from only a couple of photos. At first glance, other than the splash of white paint on the nose, the car chassis looks almost identical to last years car, although the rear end packaging seems a little neater.

      Nothing radical or innovative on this machine, and I expect it to be only in front of Narain and the second HRT driver.

  6. The head on image reveals a lot more, I’m assuming it’ll be up soon. When I first saw that image I thought I’d clicked the wrong link!

    The front wing is very RB6-ey and the sidepods look very Ferrari F10-ey…

    1. To me the sidepods look very VR01-ey, but I’ve only seen that one pic so far.

      1. When I first saw the head on image I though of the Ferrari, just because the F10’s sidepods always looked too bulky and rounded to me, but I could be seeing things!

  7. it does look good. always liked the red on black, and now they’ve added a bit more white..

    is that all they have done :\ i thouight they had doubled their budget..? if they did they havn’t doubled their effort :\

    I hope force india make up for this tomorrow.. though i can’t see it :\

  8. gotta hope they don’t regret their gearbox choice

    1. They’ll say they won’t in their press pack, but I’m sure Glock and d’Ambrosio will be muttering something different into their team radio’s as the car grinds to a halt for the umpteenth time during a race in 2011…

      1. What gearbox have they chosen for 2011?

        1. It’s Xtrac again, isn’t it?

        2. Since they haven’t announced any deals along the lines of HRT adn Team Lotus, I’m assuming the same Xtrac box that served the new teams so, ahem, well last season.

      2. They should be relieved that they have a fuel tank big enough to get them to the finish line. Or do they?

        1. yup, they’ve also got some coupons so they can get a bit extra for free.. :)

          1. nectar points!

        2. And the hydraulics might just be improved enough for them to enable getting as far as well!

  9. CovertGiblets
    7th February 2011, 11:48

    Interesting to see they’ve persisted with the nose design and not gone down the more fashionable “high” route.

    1. This approach is similar to last years’ Renault nose designs.

  10. Nice! Okay it’s not too different from last year’s car, but that looked good too. I love the nose and the livery has been touched up nicely too.

    1. eh, it’s a car that makes me worry for Glock more than anything else.

  11. It’s a pity they’ve lost the tribal print pattern; thought that made for a refreshing change on the VR-01.

    1. Personally, I don’t think a team should have a tribal print pattern, unless they’re prepared to do the haka before every race.

      1. Now that would be really great! I remember seeing that in Rugby, that was amazing.

    2. I liked it as well. But it would look to cluttered with the added grey/white stripe and Marussia thing.

      Interesting front opening form, a bit of a Marussia logo in that.

      1. It looked like a mouth with teeth in to me – very agressive :-p

        I too liked the tribal stuff, but I like this new, cleaner livery better, I think. I also just realized that the front wing endplates used to be red and are now black – it looks better this way.

        1. That is probably done so we can see from a distance weather it’s a Renault or a Virgin.

          They got me confused in the tests, saw red endplates front and back and thought it was a Virgin, only to realise that was Petrov lapping!

    3. @codesurge

      this, best bit of livery all last year. Tribal patern made the entire car.

  12. Very interesting lowish nose tip – do they have a cunning plan for getting air under it?

    1. Increase the frame rate?

      1. Hah! You win a small portion of Internet for that one.

    2. To me it seems it is even lower than last years nose. Interesting, if it will work for them, what do they know, that others don’t?

      1. @BacCB, or alternativley, what do the others know that they don’t? Use a windtunnel I suspect. There’s generally a reason for F1 trends and if the trend merley stregthens over 3 years, with all the top teams subscribing to it. The little team swimming in the opposite direction probably ain’t on to a winner.

    3. The one thing which always strikes me as odd with these pointy noses is that a few seasons ago, the car with the lowest nose always seemed to do well. Now, they seem to be getting higher and higher – I wonder if MVR have played a good card here? On saying that, the body and sidepods do look very “blocky”. Let’s see how it goes in testing!

    4. Very interesting lowish nose tip – do they have a cunning plan for getting air under it?

      The nose is low, but the sidepods are high. The entire point of having a high nose is to get air to flow into the sidepods. But when your sidepods are high, you can have a low nose. McLaren did the same thing.

    5. As to getting air under the car, if you look at the insides of the front wing, I think they’re angled in such a way that the air will deflect towards the centre of the car.

  13. With all this talk of CFD, I am starting to wonder if they design their cars using Lego Racer… :S

  14. Actually I do have one disappointment: that this and other cars with blank spaces don’t have the driver number and name filling in the gaps.

    1. Very odd to have such a low nose, contrary to the entire rest of the grid so far.

      Of course it could be a cunning plan but I think thats unlikely.

      I still think that pure CFD is good at keeping costs down but real life application is always a winner.

    2. Numbers should be big and on the nose and rear wing end-plates, like the early 90’s.

      Just read in the FIA tech specs that the numbers only have to be displayed on the nose, and only need to be 25cm tall. They don’t even have to be displayed on the side of the car at all.

  15. Hopefully, yes…
    Otherwise, Nick Wirth’s first word upon looking Ferrari’s new nose would have been: “Oops!..”
    And unless my eyes and limited knowledge fails me, despite the low nose, they still persist in using the paleolithic single keel design to mount the front suspension.

    1. I’m officially a retard. My comment was meant as a reply to topdowntoedown’s cunning plan one…

  16. http://www.virginracing.com/car/266/witness-the-fitness

    shows other pictures. What a slogan by the way to then have a car that looks very similar to their old one, but back to finless,and with a thicker nose added. However, they did manage to finally add a proper front wing, that must count for quite a bit, I’d think.

    Maybe the basic shape was already good last year, just with underdeveloped wings.

    On the whole, I like the cleaner livery, and the number on the nose is nice.

    1. Yeh, it’s important to remember that 75% of the downforce relies on the front wing at some stage of its generation.

      1. I remember that Lotus also made a big jump last year with an updated front wing.

        So maybe Virgin spent most of the CFD on modelling the front wing and tyre wake as they found that last year their front spoiled the air going to the rest of the car.

    2. Seriously, the CFD is Lego based! I’m telling ya… here’s the proof : http://twitpic.com/3xdzye

      1. Hare, you’ve been spamming that picture and similar comments to the one above all over this site, dont you think once is enough? Great, it was funny once, maybe twice, but the fifth or sixth time, it serves no purpose!

        1. Meeh, I agree with you actually, however, you’ll notice you can’t delete comments here. If I could I would. Posting in a 30 second flurry of ‘this is awesome’… followed by another 30 seconds of.. ‘mmmm’, followed by,, “I’m going to bed cos it’s 2 am”..

          . still love it though :)

          And btw, it was 3 times… dunno where you think there 5,6 times came from?

      2. I completely disagree

    3. I suppose you are right there. I get the impression the sidepods have a bigger undercut than last years car had.

      From comparing their own data on the cars (launch specifications, so before bringing the limo) the fuel tank is 20 liters bigger, the overall length is 300 mm less (from 5.5 to 5.3 m) and wheel base is now 3.3 istead of 3.1 m last year.

  17. Ive been waiting for this car for so long and im a bit disappointed

    Why they have a low nose confuses me

    but i like the development the made on the front wing, interestingly it has the camera in the middle, similar to the red bulls last year which they debuted their cars this year without

    And im sure this has less Virgin sponsorship which cant be good.

    1. It were McLaren and Mercedes who first put the cameras there last year.

      That nose got me wondering as well.
      Sidepods look big, but they have a pretty deep undercut it seems. And the exhausts might be hidden somewhere on the back in the middle?

      Virgin sponsorship is less, as Marussia took a large part of the grunt for financing this year I suppose.

  18. There’s nothing too dramatic, but then drama does not equal speed. It’s an evolution of the VR-01, not a revolution.

    1. DeadManWoking
      7th February 2011, 12:33

      It’s all part of Marussia’s new “5 Year Plan”! :D

      1. I hope a wind tunnel is included in their 5 year plan. Apparently the best CFD design they came up with is almost an identical copy to that of last years. This car is gonna be a stinker.

        1. They can hardly expect a computer to come up with “thinking out of the box”, can they?

          They would need some kind of crazy guru to give ideas for them to put into CFD to see how they would work out.
          Curious to see, how it will hold up in comparison to the rest of the field.

          1. Wasn’t Nick Worth supposed to be that genius? Maybe they are still waiting for the CFD on the more outlandish ideas.

          2. CFD is for analyis, not design.

        2. I hope a wind tunnel is included in their 5 year plan. Apparently the best CFD design they came up with is almost an identical copy to that of last years. This car is gonna be a stinker.

          It is foolish to suggest that innovation always equals speed. Ferrari can be very conservative in their car designs, but they can be very fast. Why can’t Virgin?

          1. Well.. Ferrari were conservative because they had a fairly strong recipe for success last year. A small evolution of the 2010 car from Ferrari will still produce a strong 2011 car.

            Virgin on the other hand, had a terrible car last year and a whole lot of problems, a lot of which were due to no wind tunnel testing. This year they have launched an almost identical chassis and car. Virgin probably need to take some risks and be more innovative if they wanted to improve, but instead, they didn’t. And that is exactly they will only be competing with HRT again.

          2. Having read the racecar-engineering article about the car (http://www.racecar-engineering.com/cars/virgin-mvr02/), and accompanying pics of the back of it, I think that it might be having a backend similar in idea, if less refined, as the Renault might have had as a backup plan.

            I still think Renault could have fed their exhaust through the wide slots where their bodywork ends just in front of the diffuser, in case they decided the FEE was too risky.

            If racecar engineering is correct that Virgin looked at the concept, it could well be that for now they have taken the saver route, while still running their thermal modelling to see if they can implement the FEE later in the season, if it proves to work on the R31.

          3. Ferrari can be very conservative in their car designs, but they can be very fast. Why can’t Virgin?

            Because Fernando Alonso scored 252 more points than both Virgin drivers combined in 2010?

      2. Nice one. Perhaps they will soon be retroactively ‘adjusting’ last year’s photos after their recent corporate shake-up : )

        1. DeadManWoking
          7th February 2011, 14:19

          Right after they announce Vladimir Putin as Reserve Driver 8)

          1. Did somebody say Khrushchev?

          2. Hahaha he so would!!

  19. The big question is: where are the exhausts? According to scarbsF1 they’re nowhere to be seen, which is just how the Renault launched…

    1. In that case, I’m willing to bet they deploy under the car.

      1. ScarbsF1 next tweet: MVR02 Exhausts low down in back of diffuser.

        Not entirely sure what that means, and I suppose it could also be temporary until they tested Renault like exhausts, but so far seems to be one of the more conventional ways of energizing the diffuser.

        1. look at the new picture (5th row, left) Keith posted, there they are!

          1. Yes, just saw that, very nice pic and good work by Keith to provide it when the question comes up!

        2. Not entirely sure what that means, and I suppose it could also be temporary until they tested Renault like exhausts, but so far seems to be one of the more conventional ways of energizing the diffuser.

          Red Bull found a legal way to route the exhaust though the diffuser on the RB7; Virgin could just as easily have done the same.

      2. I think you can see the exhausts exiting either side of the crash structure below the beam wing.

    2. I think you can just about make them out, exiting very low, just below the lowest rear wishbone (in the naked carbon fibre section).

    3. There are pictures of the exhausts people. They are straddling the center of the rear just before the diffuser begins which means they are blowing the rear diffuser. Could be interesting to see it catch fire after they start it for the first time.

      1. Yeah, posted that before the picture came up…

  20. Looks incredibly simple… and the livery has gone backwards, IMO!. Last year’s was superb, with those trivial things.

  21. I like the way they have a nice big number on the nose. Force India in particular are notorious for using very small numbers – they favour the space on the front wing between the uprights because it’s tiny and the rules mandate that they must have a number on the car, but to put it on the nose fills in valuable sponsor space. But Virgin have a nice big one.

    1. Virgin have a nice big one

      We’re back on the Virgin jokes again, I see ;-)

      1. That’s virgin on the offensive!!

        ( there’s only one Virgin on the offensive here! )

  22. Anyone had a chance to do a comparison of the cars yet?

    ?body=http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=21909&id=100001805515640&l=b1b384a372&subject=7 februari 2011 – Virgin Racing 2011 car

      1. Looks like your troll finally got banned!

        1. Happily yes!

          1. BasCB I couldn’t disagree more with [thing that BasCB said], you are completely wrong. How can you be so wrong I have no idea.

            Clearly [enter alternate, sometimes well informed, but completely to opposite to BasCB statement here].

            ( repeat recipe everywhere to get full affect of being a BasCB troll )

    1. Quick as in a hamburger restaurant :D

  23. Is that a F1 car? Either brave or stupid…Bahrain will tell

  24. Is this the first car to ever be launched at a Television Centre in any motorsport – maybe a world record :-)

    It looks ok, nothing too radical but clearly copying the late season Red Bull RB6 nosecone like many others.

    1. Bears no resemblance to the Red Bull nose.

    2. That nose cone is about the furthest away from the RB nose of any current F1 car.

  25. I;m goign to do some research to the Marussia brand, never heard of them. and it seems a lot of sponsors came and a lot of sponsors left.

    1. The make one crazy looking supercar.

      1. Yup. The same chassis, but they bolt different body sets on depending on what you like. Awesome idea. Russian’s, especially Moscovites, love extravagance, they’ve gone capitalist in a big way!!

  26. The thing I don’t understand is why Virgin isn’t nicking design cues from the rest of the field. All other teams react to developments by their competitors – high nose, shark fin etc – but their design team seems oblivious their rivals.

    1. Because there’s no point in stealing design ideas from other cars unless you understand how they work and can integrate them into your overall design. The devil is not just in the detail, but in understanding how all of that detail works and how it can be made to work together as a package.

      Simply making your new car look like a Red Bull doesn’t mean it will go as quickly. It’s just the motor racing equivalent of go faster stripes.

      For example, the highly successful Williams FW07 was essentially a copy of the Lotus 79 – but Patrick Head was clever enough to understand how the Lotus worked and where it could actually be improved. By contrast, the March 811 was a straight copy of a customer FW07 (literally, March simply measured everything and recreated it) but flopped badly.

      1. @Tim
        “there’s no point in stealing design ideas from other cars unless you understand how they work and can integrate them into your overall design”

        I agree but the thing with Virgin is that it’s like they’re not even trying (even Lotus nicked Mercedes’ air inlet fin). Seems like Virgin designed a car that’s likely to be at the back of the grid and can’t be bothered to scratch their heads as to why.

    2. Nick Wirth: Maybe we should copy some of the other teams design ideas from last year?.

      CFD Operator: Hmm (yawns), lets see (taps on keyboard)…. Computer says No.

      NW: Oh?, ok then, should we change the design at all?

      CFD O: (sighs then taps on keyboard)….Computer says No.

  27. will lose to hrt again

    1. Unfortunately, Narain isn’t upto the challenge . Unless HRT hire a much stronger 2nd driver, I think Virgin will just about finish higher than HRT

      1. That’s a point: we’ve done one test and HRT still haven’t got a second driver.

        1. HRT aren’t slated to show their car for another 3 weeks… One does wonder what on earth they are doing! You would assume financial difficulties have held them back.

          But if they are taking the time to build a proper racer, then they’ve got plenty of food for thought from the rest of the paddock this year. They are many different approaches being testing, so.. we’ll see what they churn out.

          1. I suspect Kolles of doing it for the thrill of it. Last year gave him a big boost, having the second car ready in the nick of time for Qualifying.
            So where’s the hurry, he’ll have a lot to do not to beat that.

            This might actually be the reason for Virgin not trying harder. They saw reliability was key to getting 11th for HRT and Lotus will be faster anyhow. So now with minimal effort they beat HRT and still have a shot at STR and Lotus in some races.

  28. I dont get why there ios so much hating of the MVR-02 around here. So from first glance its not radical – did anybody expect as much? Did aybody question McLarens low nose (compared to the rest of the field)?

    Virgin represent the essence of F1 – innovation, ie making CFD a more powerful and cheaper tool. This is reminiscent of the reaction to Renault when they first brought turbos onto the grid. And then what happened?

    If they can get the CFD to work so well that wind tunnel use can be scaled back, maybe all that extra money can be spent on, I dunno, engines?

    1. Dipak, I dont think its about ‘hating’. People are posting their honest opinions on the car. And after some of Nick Wirth’s blunders last year, you cannot expect everyone to have positive and inspirational comments on Virgins 2011 prospects. Especially, considering that it looks exactly the same as last years design.

      Sure they are trying something different with CFD, and I respect them for that. But as a viewer of the sport, I am not concerned with the money they save in wind tunnel testing. I’m more interested in seeing a fast car, or at least an innovative attempt.

    2. Innovating? Innovations means doing something new. All teams have been using CFD a lot time before Virgin Racing appeared. They just do even more.
      They just don’t have the money for aero-tunnels really.

      Anyway no one hates them. It’s just that considering those cars needed to find at least few seconds and not just a few tenths of improvement, the fact that that car looks so similar seems very strange and worrying.
      Team Lotus completely changed there car trying to find the time needed and yet Virgin looks to have made changes that will give them only a second at best.
      Personally am especially shocked on how the side-pods look instead of the nose not being high. They hardly changed. They look really simple looking comparing to the work all the other teams made.

      1. I think that if they don’t see some tangible improvement this year, they’ll seriously have to reconsider the CFD-only approach. Kudos to them for trying something different, and if it does yield some success then it’ll make all the other teams rethink their business models, but if this approach doesn’t get them to the front then they’ll have to revert to doing it like everyone else – unless they want to be permanently rooted to the back.

        I’m underwhelmed by this car as it doesn’t look any different to last year’s, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for now – maybe there’s something on it that leads to a substantial improvement in performance that my non-technical mind can’t see.

  29. The air intake on the front of the MVR-02 is designed to resemble the one on Marussia’s B2 road car.

    This made my a bit suspicious. Maybe that’s just me, though, but it sounds like a bad idea to design a part of your F1 car after something out of a road model.

    1. But it is just the little hole on the tip of the nose to cool the suspension/drivers feet.

      I rather doubt it has a very big influence. So if it can be done without influencing the performance of the car, it is nice to actually be able to add something reminding of the roadcar of the sponsor/co-owner, isn’t it? Rather clever.

    2. More concerning to me is why they bother with this at all…

      I’d much rather my designers focus on real ways to make the car faster, especially for a team with limited resources.

      1. They need money in order to do all the nice things you describe. That’s why.

    3. Thank goodness they are not sponsored by Rolls Royce then. :-)

      1. I would love having their silver spirit on the air box though!

        1. aaah, maybe the camera position? With her eyes are hole for a 3D camera? Niccceeeee :)

          1. Now that would be a great idea! Shame Rolls Royce is now BMW. They will never put that brand in F1.

            Maybe Jaguar can have another try, the chinese could just buy out HRT easily, Kolles will be happy to run the team for whoever pays.

  30. Looks a little on the tiny side..or maybe that’s the low nose throwing me off. Boring as hell livery but glad they got rid of that silly pattern they had going on last year.

  31. That is one ugly car.

  32. i feel there are hardly any updates on the car besides the new nose, and the car is prolly lower than last years. They could have easily gone to copy one of winning cars last season, but they choose to go with their own way… lets see where they measure up on the track against their own expectation. i kinda like this team it’s doing it’s own thing, it’s not claiming past glory or something, it’s only doing CFD… they may or may not succeed, but atleast they are fresh / original.

  33. Why is everybody being so negative about this car? Nobody has seen it in action, and there are loads of subtle developments to this car over last years.

    I’d also like to add that CFD doesn’t design the car, thats done by humans! CFD just models the flow of air over the car (i.e. tests the aerodynamics) so it still is a human being designing the bits and pieces attached to the car! So thinking outside the box is still completely possible, it is then just aero tested by the CFD!

    1. That’s because there is no innovation in this new car, and one of the primary driving force in formula 1 is technical evolution/innovation that people like. This is cowardly design that I hope will fail. And that is also why I salute McLaren’s MP4-26!

      1. And what kind of expert exactly are you to be able to see if there is any innovation in this car? If they are closer to the midfield than last year they’ll’ve made a step forward – which is all that can be expected from a brand new team on a low budget. I don’t expect the lotus to be much further ahead either.

      2. So designing a modern F1 car without using a windtunnel is cowardly?

        The all-CFD approach may turn out to be inspired or utterly misguided, but either way it isn’t cowardly.

        1. I am even sure that CFD is the future of car design. It is not CFD that I’m questioning it is the will to try something new using CFD. Ok, maybe I went to far with this “cowardly” design, but at the end it says that I am disappointed, as many are.

  34. Well, leaving the jokes and the low nose criticism aside, creating an evolutionary design is the most logical solution. Think about it, they are new in the business, have limited budget and they are using never-before tried techniques. Trying to extract as much potential as possible from an existing concept is the only way to go. The risk is so much smaller

  35. Im a little underwhelmed like others. Im not saying i was expecting a Redbull or a Macca, but it looks a little too much like last years, only with a much better front wing. I know that they have a budget which they want to speak to, but i feel they could have thrown their nets out a little further and be a little more daring, rather then playing it safe again.

    Its still a good looing car though, Red & Black always looks sexy on race cars. I hope they do well and earn some points, Virgin (and T.Lotus) come across as being very Fan friendly and its hard to not to like them or want them to do well. I hope they do (/w Lotus ofc) and make the grid alot more interesting.

    1. oh, and i meant to say that i think designing it with the intention of not fitting KERS in at some stage is a mistake. Again, i know its a cost thing, but if KERS proves to make such a difference and is the thing between achieving 10th or 11th, then it could be disasterous not to have thought about making allowances. I know Lotus havent either, but they have said that their design should allow it to be fitted if choosen later.

    2. We should try to remember here, that maybe just like the other teams, we aren’t seeing the finished article?

  36. I really like it! Looks nice, hated the tribal design on last years cars. With the backing of a sports car company hopefully they’ll improve!

  37. It looks more functional than last years, but the exhausts don’t look very functional. Where are they blowing onto? Nowhere?

    The livery looks quite nice. Liiks like it’s glowing white hot as it’s going so fast!

    I hope they do well, it’s nice to see backmarkers coming through and mixing it up.

    1. Maybe its a phoney exhause, like with McLaren on friday.

  38. I think it’s nice looking livery wise. Unfortunately some people can never be pleased, but I think they did a good job.

    As for the car I hope it’s a stride forward for the team. I think the majority will say that lotus will out pace them, but I hope virgin can score a handful of points this season.

  39. I have a feeling this car will either be very fast or miserably miserably slow. I don’t think this is much of a middle ground car.

    1. Really? I feel it’s the opposite. I think it’s an evolution and an improvement, but not a leap of faith. I think we’ll see it mid pack at best.

  40. an ugly car with more sponsors… maybe not so bad.

  41. Brilliant looking thing. Not really the livery, that is not the best in the world, but the shape is fantastic. I like the low nose, it makes the car look faster and more like a racing car. Not sure how different it looks from last years car, but they have probably focused more on reliability then anything else.

  42. Looks good how much stake does Maurssia own in this team.

  43. I really want to like the car, but the first thought that came into my mind was “Platypus” when I saw it.

    Not the prettiest F1 car for this year, but if they all looked the same we’d get bored in the off season.

    I just hope it competes this year with others rather than challenges itself.

  44. HUUUUGE question…

    Look at the front brake ducts
    http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/virgmvr3.jpg

    They are hiding behind the top flap of the front wing. How is that supposed to be affective? The amount of turbulence between the wing and the duct would be so bad that an insufficient flow could get in and cool the brakes subitably.

    1. I imagine the gap between the top and middle element would act to channel the air into the ducts. Or maybe the middle and bottom, I can’t tell from the raised angle.

      1. I seem to think that some other cars were launched with brake ducts in pretty much the same place.

        1. Near to the brakes…..

          Now if Ferrari or whoever can come up with something that doesn’t have them situated near the brakes, then maybe that would really be something. :)

          1. baboom tish! ;)

  45. My gosh, the car seems designed with a ruler.

    1. during a kick-off party on a napkin

  46. Scarbs is reporting that the exhaust setup may be able to be changed from track to track to suit different requirements.. the exhausts may be in one location for a high downforce track, and another for low downforce track.

    That’s pretty clever if it’s true, I take it all back!.

    Manor’s history in racing suggests it’ll take them about 3 years to get up to speed. So this slow evolution of the car is apparently how they do it. It’s worked for them before.

  47. It’s easy to say Wirth is being pound-foolish by relying on CFD. But when you see that the mega teams, even with CFD AND modern wind tunnels, still end up having to look at flow-vis, and often fit aero updates that fail completely, you wonder at the real value of the windtunnel for a car that is still way down the aero optimization curve.

    I’m happy to yield to whoever has real experience here, but my perception is that the windtunnel is used to verify design and data, to evaluate trick aero mods creating marginal gains. Teams are not starting with clay bucks and molding them for repeated wind tunnel runs. Besides Newey, who begins with a pencil and paper according to legend, everyone begins with the computer anyway.

    Also, the cost of renting tunnel time, hiring people dedicated to running the sessions and evaluating data, must be enormous.

    So considering that his main tasks are to get reliable hydraulics and gearbox performance, and other basics like suspension design and lowering CofG sorted, I tend to agree that eschewing the wind tunnel may be a good idea for Virgin now.

    1. Given that there is so little track testing available now, it’s important that each team gets its numbers right with whatever method it chooses to do its aero programme. CFD, used on its own, is less likely to throw you a curve ball when you least expect it.

      Apparently there are more and more software programmes being produced to make CFD ever closer to wind tunnel testing, and more and more people wondering why F1 teams are wasting so much electricity in wind tunnels just to make fast cars go a bit faster.

  48. keith, the Force India launch is not visible in the google calendar. (I think)

  49. I wonder how far off it is that the F1 cars has to weight one metric ton. The virgin looks like it is already there.

  50. Every time I see this car, I’m going to think of Sesame Street – because the MVR-02 is brought to you by the letter ‘Q’. It’s got sponsorship from Quantel, QNET and Quick … how many more Q-named sponsors can they get?

  51. I think it’ll be Wirthless…

  52. Gee, so many negative comments, if this pulls a 15th you will all be eating your words.

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