Virgin VR-01, 2010

Virgin Racing launch VR-01

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Virgin Racing are the first of the new F1 teams to launch their 2010 car.

See below for more pictures and information about the VR-01.

Designer Nick Wirth has created the VR-01 entirely using Computational Fluid Dynamics computer modelling. This is not a new technology for F1 – but relying on it instead of a wind tunnel to create a new car is a novel approach.

Wirth believes CFD is the best way for teams to develop F1 cars under F1’s new resource restrictions:

Today is a very proud day for everyone involved with Virgin Racing, however on this occasion, where the car is the star, I want to pay tribute to all the amazing people at Wirth Research who deserve so much of the credit for the VR-01. Putting together an F1 team, assembling an engineering group and designing a new car from scratch is an epic task in the timeframe we have been working to.

I have been fortunate to have worked with the very best designers in F1 and I am well aware of exactly what it takes to be successful in this sport. When you see what the existing teams have achieved using the conventional but proven design approach, it is unsurprising that there is a great deal of scepticism about our all-CFD approach. But we are competing in a sport that is undergoing significant change having come face to face with today’s harsh economic realities. Under resource restriction, convention will become too costly and necessity really will be the mother of invention. I have absolute belief in the digital design process and the opportunity to put the all-CFD approach to the test at the highest level – to demonstrate that this could be the way for the future of F1 – is very, very exciting.
Nick Wirth

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The team, originally named Manor Motorsport, are using Cosworth’s CA2010 V8 engines this year.

Team principal John Booth said:

Not only do we have a great bunch of people at Virgin Racing, we also have a great-looking car. We are delighted with our fantastic new livery which provides a fitting integration of our racing brand with our important commercial partnerships. All in all, we have a lot to look forward to as we progress towards our racing debut in Bahrain next month.
John Booth

He also explained why the car was not ready in time for the test at Valencia this week:

The first stage in our on-track evaluation programme is our two-day shakedown at Silverstone on Thursday and Friday this week, where we will conduct systematic testing and confidence-building of all car parts and on-car systems. It was always intended that we would miss the first all-team test in Valencia this week and very early on we targeted the second Jerez test in two weeks’ time for our public testing debut. It is a testament to our methodical approach and the sheer hard work of the team that we are heading to Spain a week earlier than planned to take part in the first Jerez test next week.
John Booth

Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson added:

I’m sure we will be measured by how fast the car is on the track in Jerez next week, but I hope that doesn’t overshadow the far bigger achievement of pulling an entire racing team together and taking a brave step that defies convention. In many ways this is an exploration, but given the absolute self-belief we have seen, I can’t help but feel very excited about what we can go on to achieve in the years ahead.

For now though I’m looking forward to seeing the VR-01 on track in testing in the coming weeks as we prepare for Virgin Racing’s very first grand prix.
Richard Branson

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VR-01 dimensions

Length: 5,500mm
Height: 950mm
Width: 1,800mm
Wheelbase: 3,200mm

Virgin VR-01 pictures

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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278 comments on “Virgin Racing launch VR-01”

  1. Prisoner Monkeys
    3rd February 2010, 10:41

    Poor old Virgin. I can only get better from here.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      3rd February 2010, 10:42

      Sorry, *it* can only get better from here.

      Dammit, why do I always have to make spelling mistakes that change the meaning of what I post when I’m trying to say something profound?

      1. Welcome to my world.

      2. lol

        But come on, “poor old Virgin”? Are you being ironic?

      3. @PM

        Its your subconscious mind surfacing, I hope you feel better soon LOL

    2. Hahah oh dude critical error :P

      1. Does anyone else think the nose looks kind of like the that of the 2001 Jordan? It is a very different looking car to the other 2010-spec cars; it will be interesting to see if any of the other new teams look similar. That is a cool livery by the way!

        1. Yup, and it also somewhat reminds me of the 2001 Minardi:

          1. mmmmm I can see where you’re coming from but I don’t think so. I reckon that Minardi inspired the MP4-18 nose.

          2. Heh, no :-) The mp4-18 nose went on a long curve, whereas the VR-01 and Minardi noses are straight flat.

          3. CounterStrike
            3rd February 2010, 18:02

            Where is Madonna? Thought they’d invited her to sing her famous song.

          4. “Like a Virgin
            Driven for the very first time!”

    3. that engine will blow their chances if they have chances

  2. Looking forward to the livery on this one, hoping for a jet-black base colour.

    1. That’s what Lucas di Grassi said it was going to be.

      1. awesome, I’m pleased they didnt go for another red/white ‘safe bet’ livery

    2. car looks fantasitic, and livery is very nice too!

      Noticed a real RBR feel to the rear of the car with the body fading to very low, also raised edges on side of nose.

      Car looks clean and simple…I think it should go ok.

      Now I am just hanging out for Red Bull to release their 2010 challenger. From what I understand it won’t be a carbon copy of what the toro rosso looks like either. yer there will be bits that interchange but RBR have a bullet up there sleeves….!

      1. This car look brilliant!

        In fact, I dont think we’ve seem a fugly car yet this season!

  3. Virtual disaster!

  4. The fact that we can’t see the car that was supposed to be ready 43 minutes ago is strangley indicative of all the new teams this year.

    As well as it;s “innovative novel” design process.

  5. Lets see how CFD holds itself to the good old windtunnel. Im more looking forward to that and how the car looks then the PR blabla that they already pulled of the closet out now.

  6. Prisoner Monkeys
    3rd February 2010, 10:44

    If Fernando Alonso was driving for Virgin, would it matter if they could get their stream up 0.6 seconds faster?

    1. Mouse_Nightshirt
      3rd February 2010, 11:15

      Honestly, it never gets old :D

      1. No, but you will, if you call customer services :)

  7. Virgin Racing is waiting for the proper time to launch in order not to clash with Goddess of Virginity… ye holy one

    come on come on come on… launch it!

  8. I like the use of “in excess of” for fuel tank size and engine weight…

  9. If it appears, i think it may look somewhat like the Midland of 2006. With the black/red/white livery.

  10. Common no more people pics… show the damn car already.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      3rd February 2010, 10:48

      God some people are a) impatient and b) intolerant.

  11. From Lucas di Grassi on Twitter (translated):

    Calm down people. There was a problem with the video that is being repaired. I’ll ask if I can put a picture on twitter!

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      3rd February 2010, 10:48

      I’m liking him already.

      1. He seems cool doesn’t he!?!

        1. Yeah di Grassi sounds like a nice guy.

          1. Yes, he is. I’m a brazilian and I’m following his career. I’ve not been a fan of any brazilian pilot since Senna. I’m a Kimi fan. As he’s not driving F1 this year, I’m definately going to support Lucas, he’s a very cool guy, realy good driver and deserves a chance like that.
            I love the looks of the car and livery by the way.

          2. CounterStrike
            4th February 2010, 8:37

            I am really curious to know why most Brazilians refer to “Driver” as “Pilot” ? Even the google translation of some of the Brazilian F1 site does the same.

  12. You would have thought they’d have tested all the feeds etc before it all went tits up?!

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      3rd February 2010, 10:52

      Whtsto say they didn’t? I used to do the soundcheck for the auditorium at my school, and we went through the procedure a dozen times ahead of graduation to make sure it worked. It did. But when zero hour came around … well, it didn’t work the one time we needed it to.

      These things happen. You just have to be patient.

  13. Insert Virgin joke about not being ready here.

    It’ll be really interesting to see how this team goes. More so than any other, I’m really interested to see how good CFD etc is at predicting accurately on track performance. I also like the driver pairing!

    1. Virgin takes her time before first night out.
      Keeps thousands waiting before offering a peep.

      Yeah I know, very weak.

  14. hi first post . not very good with links ,on youtube scuadraF1 has some images of what it thinks vr01 will look like

  15. I tell you what, if they are slow on the track you know that the jokes are going to come back to this! lol :-)

  16. I like the driver pairing too – especially Glock. But, my god, what a disaster. They don’t even have a single person providing Twitter updates or a TweetPic. There’s no excuse for the lack of photos online . . . somewhere!

  17. They can create a car by CFD, but they can’t set up a simple live-stream… I hope they did a better job at the car then .

  18. Prisoner Monkeys
    3rd February 2010, 10:53

    Hey, spare a thought: Virgin aren’t the only website having problems. Autosport has gone unresponsive for the past fifteen minutes as well.

    1. As well as the Dutch part of earlier this week.
      I see a conspiracy here..

      1. You’re thinking Max is behind it?

    2. Thankfully F1 Fanatic’s new server is holding up! Hope none of you are getting the dreaded Error 500s any more…

      1. So far so good Keith. Havent had that in about a week.

        1. Mouse_Nightshirt
          3rd February 2010, 11:17

          I only started getting them in the last week O.o

      2. Just as you posted that Keith, I had an ‘unable to connect to database’ error, probably just a glitch though as I haven’t had one before

      3. I am, sometimes it gets as much as 5 or 6 pushes of the refresh button to get the site working.

        1. Oh, and the “Error establishing a database connection” appears quite often

          1. getting that also!

  19. Perhaps Virgin Media are throttling them for excessive bandwidth use!

  20. Prisoner Monkeys
    3rd February 2010, 10:59

    Livery is red and black and described as “distinctive”:

    1. Of course its distinctive.

      Toyota described they’re livery as “distinctive”

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        3rd February 2010, 11:15

        Yeah, but this isn’t Virgin describing it.

        And in a way, Toyota was distinctive. You could pick them out as they went past. I challenge you to be able to do that between the Mercedes and McLaren, or between the Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

  21. We Want Turbos
    3rd February 2010, 10:59

    They’re not going to post pictures and ruin the big fanfare of the lauch as nobody will watch the launch.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      3rd February 2010, 11:01

      Nobody’s watching the launch as it is. And going by the article I linked to above, it’s already over. It’s just the footage that they’re struggling with.

    2. They have HAD the launch!!

      1. Launch is finished! The pictures are on the website, but no car ones :(

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          3rd February 2010, 11:04

          Where on the website?

        2. No, those pictures are from the team launch in december, but not yet the car launch.

        3. Those where pictures of the announcement last year december.

        4. whoops, just realised i’m wrong! They are from the launch in december

        5. why do i have the feeling you’ve gone to the ‘team launch’ – aka, the announcement of the team in Nov/Dec. that’s all i can find on the website

        6. And yet pictures of the car are probably the only thing most people want to see at the moment.

          1. Prisoner Monkeys
            3rd February 2010, 11:14

            Yeah, but Virgin don’t want them leaking and spoiling the surprise.

  22. We Want Turbos
    3rd February 2010, 11:05

    The the Virgin twiiter page they say they want to get the launch on, it wont be live im presuming they dont want media leeking photos untill after it has been shown

  23. If an F1 car is launched and no one sees it, does it exist? Or something similar…

    1. You have got that one from Jon Noble’s Twitter page.
      He should sue you for violating his copyright ;-)

      1. shhhhh! ;)

  24. Just got in and thought i’d missed it but sounds like I haven’t. Is this the correct website I should be looking at?….

    1. Thats the correct page. Just wait untill the vid and pics are uploaded there.

  25. yes Autosport went virtual too ;)

  26. 10 more minutes I’ll give them.
    I’m starting to stop caring about them anymore….

    1. same here… i’ve waited for an hour…

    2. Like they would care ;-)?

  27. How terrific the launch is will have nothing to do with how fast the car is. McLaren showed that last year. Not a great start I agree but get over it!

  28. I’m just tired and i want to sleep. i’ve got to go to cricket in the morning. please be swift richard.

  29. They really should have just joined the rest of them on monday. then any photographer there could have uploaded photos and there would be far fewer frustrated fans. i’m kinda hoping there car is a flop now so next year they’ll use the right resources and get testing earlier!!!

  30. On a completely different matter, I’ve just noticed Schumacher is using a carbon fibre BLACK crash helmet.

    New design on the horizon????

    1. No, just new types of helmets by Schuberth.

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      3rd February 2010, 11:20

      No, Massa and Kubica were using them yesterday. It seems to be a new model of helmet from Schuberth, and they’re looking for feedback on it.