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.