Virgin MVR-02 launch – first pictures

2011 F1 cars

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. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 7th February 2011, 12:05

    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.

    • Icthyes said on 7th February 2011, 12:17

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

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 7th February 2011, 12:28

        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.

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

      • Henry said on 7th February 2011, 13:53

        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!

        • 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?

      • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 7th February 2011, 15:14

        I completely disagree

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th February 2011, 12:40

      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.

  2. Walton said on 7th February 2011, 12:06

    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.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th February 2011, 12:26

      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.

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th February 2011, 12:08

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

    • DeadManWoking said on 7th February 2011, 12:33

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

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 7th February 2011, 12:46

        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.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th February 2011, 12:52

          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.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th February 2011, 13:11

          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?

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 7th February 2011, 13:33

            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.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 7th February 2011, 13:33

            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.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 7th February 2011, 14:22

            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?

      • Maciek said on 7th February 2011, 13:49

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

  4. Dave M said on 7th February 2011, 12:11

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

  5. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th February 2011, 12:18

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

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th February 2011, 12:19

    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.

  7. BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th February 2011, 12:21

    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

  8. “Quick”

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

  10. alexf1man said on 7th February 2011, 12:55

    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.

  11. box this lap (@sebashuis) said on 7th February 2011, 13:00

    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.

  12. judo chop said on 7th February 2011, 13:10

    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.

    • 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.

      • judo chop (@judo-chop) said on 7th February 2011, 17:42

        @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.

    • The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 7th February 2011, 13:31

      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.

  13. nicolis said on 7th February 2011, 13:20

    will lose to hrt again

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 7th February 2011, 13:36

      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

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 7th February 2011, 18:29

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

        • 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.

          • BasCB said on 8th February 2011, 7:35

            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.

  14. Dipak T said on 7th February 2011, 13:24

    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?

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 7th February 2011, 13:46

      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.

    • Solo (@solo) said on 7th February 2011, 14:31

      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.

      • Don Mateo said on 7th February 2011, 18:00

        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.

  15. Klon (@klon) said on 7th February 2011, 13:30

    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.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 7th February 2011, 13:37

      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.

    • 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.

    • Andy C said on 7th February 2011, 14:32

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

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th February 2011, 15:11

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

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

          • BasCB said on 8th February 2011, 7:40

            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.

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