At what point should Virgin admit defeat and scrap CFD – only approach?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  wigster 6 years, 6 months ago.

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    It looks like HRT, with a shoestring budget and no running before Melbourne (and not even much there!) could end up qualifying ahead of Virgin. Which begs the question; when will Wirth accept that although he has made a valiant effort, the era of CFD – Only F1 design is still about ten years off? I have no doubt with increased computing power and CFD capabilities and complexities, at some point the wind tunnel will be rendered obsolete, or at least the minor partner in the design phase. But clearly, Virgin have not managed. I think last season and the first few races of this season have demonstrated that.

    When Virgin first announced their approach, I was very keen on the idea of an alternative development path for the smaller teams. I hoped that they would give some half-decent results. Most of all, they had to demonstrate that they could develop the car and move it forward. Which did not really happen last year, in any particularly meaningful way.

    I think that surely from the point of view of finances, they have to either call it a day or get some wind-tunnel time soon. I dont think they have been particularly stupid in their attempt – it was pretty brave, but if they continue on the face of all the evidence against them, surely they are then really being quite pig-headed, and verging on plain stupid?



    I have to say I agree with this. In theory, it should make it a lot easier for the team in the long run. I really do believe that CFD can be used to great effect, but this is a long way off with F1. They used it to great effect with sports cars however with sports cars there is more of a comparison to road cars which mean more available data to start with. The downforce numbers in F1 are far more than that and with no in season testing then the amount of numbers that come from track running is less than they would get from a sports car team. You have to remember that each F1 car is a prototype. No matter how you look at it, no two cars are identical, something which decreases the amount of available data even more.

    Looking at it from a different point of view, the Virgin team is effectively the Manor group which is highly successful in lower formulae. It seems that since the buyout before the start of last season, all the influence has gone towards Wirth and less to the racing pedigree of the Manor team. I think therefore that it may be time to increase their involvement in the team (although im not sure of how involved they are currently). From the point of view of finances, it shouldnt be a huge extra stretch to utilise more of the experience from the existing team. Im not sure if Manor have a wind tunnel or not (possibly not as many lower formulae are usually purchased and set chassis, but they may still find the need for one, maybe a scaled down one) but even without this tool, it still cant help having the Manor side of the operation in Yorkshire and Wirth Research in Banbury.



    To be honest, starting a team, and adopting a different approach from all the other teams is not easy. As respectable as it is to try a different approach, at some point of time you have to just follow the norm of the existing teams. Nick Wirth said that they wanted to use only CFD, and has been stupidly stubborn about it. Its obvious that CFD will increase its presence in the near future, but for right now, the wind tunnel method is more dependable.

    Virgin seems to take their future in this sport very seriously. They have had no funding issues, and have developed & tested according to schedule. There is no way in hell they should be in as bad shape as HRT right now. If Branson wants Virgin racing to go ahead, he needs to get rid of Nick Wirth. Nick Wirth has never been a part of a successful F1 team, and Wirth design has not created any marvels for the sport thus far.


    Ned Flanders




    I think they need to take a step back, realise that its not working as intended and use a wind-tunnel in conjunction with CFD. If they did 80% and then went to the wind tunnel, it could confirm that their CFD calculations are correct and develope from there. Virgin are also on a budget but HRT has a chance of showing them up and with all the good will in the world, i think Timo Glock is a much better driver then either at HRT and if he’s not able to keep them at bay then something is clearly not working.



    Agree with SJM, it can’t be all one way or the other.

    Maybe give it the rest of the season and then they can say they tried.



    The F1 equivalent of football’s

    At what point will Arsene Wenger admit defeat and sign Arsenal a new goalkeeper!! :L#

    The answer is never by the way!



    Didn’t he sign one last week! Lehmann again!



    Maybe they need a tow rope, and a Virgin Blue..?

    I like their approach it’s worked for them before. The expectations though are for 3 years. So before we shoot them down in flames, I think we need to give them more time.

    However! It’s not looking good for them, to be running so far down on a regular basis, and it’s very frustrating for the drivers, and I imagine the whole team.



    f1 needs more on-track testing. williams have said as long as a separate test team isn’t needed, it’s pretty do-able.



    f1 needs more on-track testing. williams have said as long as a separate test team isn’t needed, it’s pretty do-able.

    whoops! hmm, double post makes it doubly true?



    I’m going to be controversial and say that their lack of pace may be due more to other factors then simply a lack of wind tunnel testing.

    A lack of creative, innovative talent in the design team could be one reason they’re slow. If theres no fundamentally good ideas on how to make the car go faster, then no amount of cfd refinement will make bad ideas go fast.

    In addition seeing how often mclaren put sensors on their car to test and collect data for their software, im surprised virgin dont do more since thats the only way they have of checking their datas correct. Though of course that could be explained by the teams differing budgets, and a lack of coverage of what virgin are up to and maybe they collect as much as they can.

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