Wirth: MVR-02 'better in every way'
|By Jonathan Noble and Matt Beer||Monday, February 7th 2011, 12:26 GMT|
Virgin Racing designer Nick Wirth has promised that the new MVR-02 is 'better in every way' than its predecessor.
The team took the wraps off its 2011 car in a launch event at BBC Television Centre in London this morning, and Wirth said a substantial step forward was guaranteed with the new design.
"Since the middle of year we worked on process, we calibrated how fast we had to improve and what did we have to work on," he said.
"We have done a huge amount of development of physics and what we are doing to catch up with everyone."
He is confident that his team has come up with a very good solution to the revised rear end technical rules, which include the banning of double diffusers.
"The back of car is heavily regulated from last year, and we managed to take this car and not only catch up where we were, but go above it in terms of aero efficiency - in every single way this car is faster and better than last year."
Virgin remains the only team to totally eschew windtunnel work in favour of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). But while the team finished last in the constructors' championship in 2010, Wirth is confident that its shortcomings were not due to its CFD approach - and that it has eliminated its weak points for 2011.
"Last year that [CFD] side of the whole equation worked very well," said Wirth. "We hit the numbers we thought we were going to do, which were a logical progression from our championship-winning sportscar programme.
"What caught us out, and other new teams to some extent, was reliability with hydraulics and gearbox, so that has been a focus for 2011.
"We have a dual track approach, apply what we are good at in aero to the gearbox - so more analysis and development on the oil system in the gearbox than we did in sportscars.
"We ran the new hydraulics of new car in Abu Dhabi and in testing. We are just much better prepared for this season."
The MVR-02 will not feature KERS this year, with Wirth saying the gains available from the energy recovery device were not large enough to justify spending time on it at this stage in the team's development.
"KERS is an interesting subject, great and relevant technology, linking to hybrid road cars like the Prius," said Wirth.
"It is extremely expensive and extremely heavy – it is worth about three tenths of a second. We are after three seconds.
"We don't want to promise Timo [Glock] we have found three seconds, but we have found a lot. It's more important to focus on aero."