• Feb 4th 2010 at 11:01AM
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2010 Virgin Racing VR-01 – Click above for image gallery

If you were one of the thousands of fans who surfed over to Virgin Racing's website the other day expecting to watch the live reveal of the team's very first Formula One car, you were likely disappointed. Technical glitches prevented the webcast from going live on schedule, but we'll chalk the silicon snafu up to opening night jitters. That's understandable, though, because Virgin Racing is one of several new teams that started from scratch this year to join the F1 grid.

After flirting with Brawn GP sponsorship last season, Richard Branson's Virgin group took over the start-up team previously known as Manor Motorsport. Powered by Cosworth, former Toyota F1 driver Timo Glock will team up with rookie Lucas di Grassi, who finished behind Glock in the 2007 GP2 Series.

Webcast aside, the Virgin VR-01 is a technological achievement in its own right. It's the first F1 car designed entirely on computer – using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) processors – with no models built for wind tunnel aerodynamic testing. The striking car – in red and black with a tribal-style tattoo design – is heading to Silverstone for its first shakedown before joining the next group test at Jerez. Hopefully the webcast will be their only glitch in taking on the established teams (and the other newcomers) in what's shaping up to be the most exciting F1 season in decades.

[Source: Virgin Racing]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now I'm just waiting to see the Lotus and USF1 cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        RBR hasn't shown its new car yet either.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ROFLMAO @ the title "for the very first time".
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm pretty excited to see such a wide variety of designs this year....can't wait for March
      • 5 Years Ago
      virgin racing....lol
      • 5 Years Ago
      Many of you are not racing fans in general are you?

      The Acura ARX-1B and C were all designed by the same company Wirth. Ask Porsche and Penske how effective those cars are. They are completely designed and engineered in VR with CFD, a design program he wrote.

      It works, it has worked and its the future. Some F1 cars are still designed with a slide rule, that's fine, but those people will retire and die eventually. This is the next wave of car design and will eliminate wind tunnels and the cost of building them plus all the various models that need to be built plus the full size car.

      Its also I can tell you this car has been tested in a VR racing environment, this is something David Brabham did every off-season as his home is just down the road from Wirth Engineering.

      You can listen to an interview from Nick Wirth here - http://audio.mpix.org.uk/iv/iv_wirth.mp3

      • 5 Years Ago
      while stuck in traffic this afternoon, i was thinking that it would be awesome PR if Marussia got into racing, either by sponsoring in F1 or with a LeMans team.

      then i see the Marussia script sprawled-out across the nosecone of this car and i was like "WHHHHAAAAAATTT!!!!"

      this F1 season is full of lots of interesting little surprise bits. i'm actually genuinely excited for once.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Me too ! I've never felt more excited about an oncoming Formula 1 season before.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Really nice looking livery and car, it could do without the stupid tattoo thing though. I hope the whole CFD only thing works out for them, because it sounds like a recipe for confining themselves to the back of the pack.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Other teams are testing out hundreds of iterations by CFD, it's not like Virgin's the only team doing it. But you always back up computational results with some sort of physical testing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wirth Research, the firm in charge of CFD design for Manor (I believe) also designed the Acura ARX0-2a exclusively using CFD. The Courage/ARX-01a/b/c update bodywork was also done in CFD. Their methods are clearly a departure from classical aerodynamics but the results in ALMS speak for themselves. I'm really interested to see how well they do in F1.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I can't say I share the same skepticism. Don't get me wrong, I definitely think it's important to do real world testing, but over the last few years there's been a number of incidents where drivers lost "important aero bits" from their cars that were down selected after hundreds of hours in the wind tunnel and proceeded to turn faster lap times.... I'm just saying.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Analysis using ANSYS/ABACUS means they can spend more time actually trying out hundreds of iterations instead of having to build the same models to do the same test, wasting much money and time in the process.

        If they are in the back of the pack, it won't be because of this, but because of bad driving and strategy.
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