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Virgin Racing launch their VR-01

February 3, 2010


The VR-01 definately ticks the right boxes when it comes to livery

Virgin Racing has launched their 2010 hope after more than an hour of technical delay.

It won’t have been the great start the outfit were hoping for and surely must have been hugely frustrating to have their big day delayed by technical issues. The livery looks superb, perhaps a little less red would do but it has some very detailed design and is a beauty.

The RBR style nose is predictably there but it doesn’t seem as raised as many other cars. The long wheel base is standard now due to the large fuel tanks the cars need. They also join Ferrari’s design of not having the shark fin engine cover stretching to the rear wing like the majority of the cars unveiled so far.

The VR-01 has been designed by solely using CFD and has had no wind tunnel time. A conservative approach and more rounded one would be to also use the wind tunnel but it will be fascinating to see how this car performs after solely been created from data by CFD. It will have saved costs and if the car is in the mix with the new teams then they can have a laugh at being able to get results but with less financial strain. If it is very effective then we could enter an era where design is a lot more based on CFD and super computers but that will be some time off.

 However, the front wing looks rather simplistic to what we have seen so far and it could turn out that with the emphasis on aero then wind tunnel data is crucial meaning Virgin could suffer.

Virgin are also looking to achieve their goals on a minimalist budget. Many have scoffed at this but look at Toyota; they threw all the money they could at F1 but couldn’t get a victory. It isn’t how much you spend but rather how you use it so if Virgin is managed well then they could be setting an example for cost cutting in F1. As for sponsors they have managed to bag BMW’s FXPro sponsorship as well as Oxigen Investments and Carbon Green both of which are environmentally friendly. Getting all the green sponsors they can will win much support and make their cars appear more ‘relevant’.

Virgin Racing has a pretty strong line up too. Glock was highly rated after 08 and added to his podium collection twice in 2009. He can make a one-stop strategy work very well too which will be vital to a new team. Di Grassi has taken a while to get into F1 which doesn’t immediately impress and he has never won the GP2 title despite four attempts. He does have some talent and Virgin wouldn’t have promoted a rookie if they didn’t believe he had a chance. He has also enjoyed a comfortable relationship with Renault as their test driver so will have that experience of working with a big team. Virgin will be looking forward to the launch of Lotus to see how their main rivals have design their car. These two teams have the potential for an interesting battle ahead and Branson and Fernandes have agreed that whoever loses has to dress up as an air hostess on one of Branson’s flights.

Watch the launch here

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2010 7:45 pm

    Best looking F1 car for ages! Absolutely stunning.

  2. February 3, 2010 7:49 pm

    Looks orange in natural light though. Think they might want to rethink the shade of that red hehe. Love the livery though, all the patterns look so cool, in fact, it looks like the pattern on my ghds hehe.

  3. February 3, 2010 8:10 pm

    Still unsure about the livery myself. Will have to see it on track I think. I’m liking the swirly patterns and Yorkshire rose though!

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