Jerome d'Ambrosio, Virgin, Montreal, 2011

Virgin and McLaren agree technical partnership

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jerome d'Ambrosio, Virgin, Montreal, 2011
Jerome d'Ambrosio, Virgin, Montreal, 2011

Virgin has agreed a new technical partnership with McLaren.

The deal will see some McLaren staff work on the development of Virgin’s cars.

It will also allow Virgin to use McLaren’s wind tunnel, testing rigs, simulator, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAE) systems.

It marks a move away from Virgin’s all-CFD design approach pursued under previous technical director Nick Wirth, who left the team last month.

McLaren already has a technical partnership with Force India. However this deal will not see Virgin use the same engine and gearbox as McLaren – they will remain customers of Cosworth.

Virgin’s chief executive officer Andy Webb said: “Our technical partnership with McLaren is very exciting indeed. McLaren is one of the most prestigious and successful marques in Grand Prix racing history, with an enviable record of success over many years.

“We can benefit enormously from McLaren?s far-reaching techniques and capabilities and I have no doubt that this partnership will see us take the technical steps necessary to make a significant leap forwards.”

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “These properties are state-of-the-art, and we confidently therefore expect Marussia Virgin Racing to derive significant benefits from them.”

Virgin also announced it has purchased its former technical partner Wirth Racing Technologies, based at Banbury in Oxfordshire. Webb indicated the team would consolidate its multiple bases in the near future:

“Our acquisition of the WRT Formula One business ensures continuity of technical infrastructure for the period ahead, which means that the transition to working with our new technical partner can begin immediately and is not frustrated by logistical considerations.

“Our three-centre operation has served us well in our formative years but our ambitions for the future will rely on the full might of the team coming together under one roof.”

He added: “With Pat Symonds? continued involvement in the technical programme, we are confident that we have made all the right moves towards a successful future for Marussia Virgin Racing and we now head into one of the most important events for our team, the British Grand Prix, with renewed confidence and a great deal of excitement about the future.”

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