Timo Glock, Virgin, Shanghai, 2011

Virgin promise “new direction” with Turkey upgrades

2011 Turkish Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Timo Glock, Virgin, Shanghai, 2011
Timo Glock, Virgin, Shanghai, 2011

Virgin team principal John Booth says the team’s upgrade package for Turkey is “significant to say the least”.

Booth said: “By our own admission it?s been a difficult start to the year, but we actually started doing something about that when we realised back in testing that we had not met our targets.

“We?ve been working hard behind the scenes since the middle of February and this weekend sees the culmination of all those efforts when we will be able to see just how much we can progress now.

“The extent of our upgrade package for the start of the European season is significant to say the least. Aerodynamically it?s a new direction for us and we?re hopeful that it will
help us start to turn the corner, although with such a major step it may take us some time to tune it to the race track.”

Booth said that only Timo Glock will have the full upgrade package for the next race:

Jerome [d’Ambrosio] will not have the benefit of the full upgrade package until Spain but he will get a taste of some of the elements this weekend.

“We are of course mindful of the fact that everyone should have taken a step forward ready for Europe so we will have to see how we?ve fared versus the rest of the field.”

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20 comments on “Virgin promise “new direction” with Turkey upgrades”

  1. As long as their upgrade isn’t a 20kg bag of gravel, I suppose the car might improve.

    1. So would a 10 lb. bag of gravel be a marked upgrade?

      1. 4kg strategically placed may improve the balance.

  2. It probably wont bring them upto Lotus’s speed but if this works it might dent HRTs chances of being quicker then the Virgins. Ofcourse, everyones going to be adding stuff to their cars, but if they can closer to the slower midfield teams, its a start.

    1. That’s why it’s pointless when everyone says that their team will beat their rival, before the rival brings an upgrade too.

  3. Aerodynamically it’s a new direction for us and we’re hopeful that it will
    help us start to turn the corner

    Hopefully they’ll help them turn the rest of the corner too ;-)

    1. and maybe pick up a bit more speed on the straights :)

    2. LOL, or just fly off in the distance of the run off!

      At least no crying they will certainly beat Lotus now or something like that. I hope they do make a good step to show they are not completely lost at sea with their package.

    3. Bigbadderboom
      4th May 2011, 21:14

      At least with the nose pointing forward ;)

  4. I want to see this pure CFD car do something proper. I can’t see them anywhere near Lotus in the near future but it would be nice to have that very definite, competitive divide.

  5. Of course, in their parallel universe, the CFD stuff will say the upgrade is worth 5 seconds. But that may be as good as you being able to drive faster in your imagination than in real life.
    I read somewhere though, they may swallow their virtual pride and lease a wind tunnel, at least they may finally get to appreciate the true dynamics of fluids.

  6. I hope this upgrade works. I really admire Nick Wirth for his CFD approach, it worked in LMP1, but it is obvious it’s not quite ready for F1 yet. The success or failure of Virgin Racing, may well depend on this CFD approach, but regardless of what happens, Wirth will be hailed as a visionary when the technique is perfected, be it by his team or another.

    1. What is visionary about his use of CFD. He didn’t introduce CFD to F1. CFD is nothing more than a high performance calculator. There are aerodynamicists with the ability to visualize mentally those same air flow CFD software spends millions of man hours generating.
      Visionaries are those who make verifiable progress, not those who go around in circles.

  7. Can Virgin still make the switch to a wind tunnel, if they wanted to? Both CFD and Wind tunnel are restricted in their rules. Most teams will go for 30/70 or 40/60 and use the windtunnel to do live tests on the CFD design.
    Virgin uses 100% of their CFD allocation.
    Can they still change this during the season or is this a thing that’s fixed for the season? Anyone knows?

    1. As I understand the FOTA restriction on how much wind tunnel and CFD work a team can do is on a per-week basis so I think they could.

      See these article for more on the restriction and how McLaren and Lotus strike the balance between wind tunnel and CFD:

      Ferrari pile on the miles as McLaren focus on simulation
      Factory upgrades to boost Lotus in 2011

    2. Is CFD limited by the number of hours too, or is the processing power limited, or both?

      1. Processing power (more on that in the Lotus article).

  8. They’re limited to ‘x’ teraflops. How they divide it between CFD and the tunnel results is up to them I think.

  9. I’m very fond of CFD. One big advantage of CFD over a wind tunnel is that it gives aerodynamicists and engineers insight into the behaviour of flow structures. CFD can show you where the downforce is coming from by looking at the flow behaviour around a car, and you can pursue even more if you can tweak the design or add a few parts.

    But as good as CFD can get, it’s still a simulation. When you’re dealing with unsteadiness around a race car it’s difficult to fully trust CFD. One example is if you want to do development on a rear brake duct or the diffuser. The flow that arrives there is so disturbed that it’s difficult for us to believe the data that’s coming from CFD.

    Our philosophy here is that we combine CFD and the wind tunnel for aerodynamic design.

    Lesmana Djayapertapa – CFD and R&D guy

    1. Bigbadderboom
      4th May 2011, 21:23

      Not being an aerodynamicist it always amazes me that you can get good enough corrolation between wind tunnel and CFD data. I can understand it’s use when testing single surfaces like rear wings, but it must be a nightmare with multiple surfaces, especially as F1 designers are often at the cutting edge of such designs. How is the data collected and how is it’s reliabilty to real world physics tested. I’m sure that software upgrades are always being implemented so how can so much confidence be placed in the data? As you say the best philosophy must be to use a combination of both, but it’s intriging that some teams place so much faith in it.

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