Currently reading: Striking Virgin F1 car revealed
Dramatic colour scheme; technical woes mar launch

Virgin Racing has revealed its first Formula One car, the VR-01.

Unfortunately, the team's online launch was beset by technical problems - a fact that caused much consternation as it had been hailed as a digital launch for a digital car, in reference to the fact the VR-01 has been created using computational fluid dynamics rather than a windtunnel.

See the hi-res picture of the Virgin F1 car

Nevertheless, Virgin became the first of F1's four new teams to unveil its car.

"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," said designer Nick Wirth.

See the latest pics from day three in ValenciaReport and pics from day oneReport and pics from day two

"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."

Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock will drive the car, which will be shaken down at Silverstone on Thursday and Friday.

The team will then join the rest of the F1 field for the second winter test at Jerez, where it will also become the first of the new entrants to test alongside the established squads.

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Bob Cat Brian 4 February 2010

Re: Striking Virgin F1 car revealed

Surely all teams use CFD. Followed by wind tunnel experiments to varify their results. Only using CFD is doing half a job.

Phil McCavitie 4 February 2010

Re: Striking Virgin F1 car revealed

The unknown variable, I have it on good authority, with the design process of this car is the notion of 'open wheels' rather than 'closed wheels' as seen on Wirth's previous successes with CFD - the turbulence these wheels can create could upset the whole balance of the mathematical model used in the CFD design of a F1 car and is why teams use a real wind tunnel.....

Branson will pull out by the end of the season anyway when it all goes wrong and they can't make the 107% qualifying rule if such a thing still exists.....

VirginPower 3 February 2010

Re: Striking Virgin F1 car revealed

The livery is nothing to write home about, but I've started to notice, while watching the filmed action from the test at Valencia, how ungainly and awkward the cars look now. There is a huge amount of length added to the chassis that has made them inherently ugly.

The longer wheelbase will have a significant effect on the handling at tighter circuits, and the substantial transition of mass from the middle of the body as the race proceeds will make the cars much more unpredictable than they have been of recent years. This seems likely to cause lots of heated action towards the ends of the races.

I'm quite relieved to see that the VR-01's development is not presently on pace with the season's test program, and I hope that the banality that Branson wants to inject into F1 is held at bay for as long as possible.

If they produce genuine results through hard work and the application of sophisticated engineering, good luck to them, but if the team gets recognition for the pathetic stunts that Branson apparently wants to pull-off, then the introduction of this team could be the dawn of something quite vulgar within the sport.

That sounds mean, but it's well-intentioned.