Virgin aiming for ??coveted 10th place??

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Virgin is confident that it will reach its target of being top of the new teams and ??take that much coveted 10th place in the F1 Championship??.

??We have come so far since March and the whole team have done an incredible job,?? Technical Director Nick Wirth in an interview published on Virgin’s website.

??I?m very proud of our team and I know there?s even more to come when we return to the track to race in Spa. Bring it on.??

Why are we so confident?, well where Lotus and HRT have now switched their attention to developing their 2011 cars, we are in the unique position of being able to further develop our present car as well as working on the development of our future 2011 car, all because of our digital design approach. Therefore Virgin Racing can expect to continue to improve our performance.

We of course finished the first half of the Season on a high because after Hungary we ended qualifying and the race with clearly the fastest laps of the new teams and a solid and reliable two-car finish gives us a good platform for the next phase of the season, where we must continue this trend of improving our performance.
Nick Wirth

Hopes were high for the last race in Hungary, after Timo Glock out-qualified the Lotuses but pit stop problems in the race frustrated Virgin.

Glock fell behind both Lotuses and his team mate at the start, compromising his pit stop during the safety car period.

Lucas di Grassi damaged his car?s nose at the start of qualifying. He split the Lotuses at the start of the race but a problem with his left-rear tyre during his pit stop meant he had to drive slowly around a lap and then pit again. He fell to last place but was able to overtake Sakon Yamamoto before the end of the race.

The team have been reflecting on the highs and lows of its season to date, saying that its biggest achievement was actually getting to the grid:

??Well getting the team to the grid within 250 days of being granted an entry was an enormous achievement and one which should never be underestimated. Remember too that one of the new teams failed to pass the first test and with our business and technical model it really has been a start up from every perspective.

??I?m also very pleased that we?ve silenced those critics who said that an F1 car could not be designed entirely in the digital domain ?ǣ that has been a personal high for me and the whole team.??

And lows?

It?s obvious isn?t it? The wretched fuel tank problem and the difficult race in China. We went through a tough period over those few weeks but our resilience in the face of that adversity will ultimately do us no harm.
Nick Wirth

Posted on Categories 2010 Belgian Grand Prix, Articles in brief, Virgin RacingTags , , , ,

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  • 33 comments on “Virgin aiming for ??coveted 10th place??”

    1. They shall never defeat the mighty Lotus!

      1. They might do!!…. at top trumps?

    2. It took force India over a year to score a point. Good luck virgin

      1. I think they mean 10th team at the end of the season (ahead of Lotus and Hispania) not 10th on the grid.

        1. i think you right but anyway if virgin gets an 10th place finish they will get probably the 10th place at the end of the season

          1. Well if they manage to harvest a point, they will most certianly finish 10th in the teams rating. But it would be enough to get an 12th position or they would need about 2 13th finishes and finish ahead of Lotus and HRT most of the other races.

            1. I’d be surprised if ANY of the new teams score a point this year. Pleasantly surprised though.

    3. TheGreatCornholio
      22nd August 2010, 0:15

      I dont thing anyone doubts their ability to design an F1 car using CFD but Nick Wirth should save tooting his horn until it actually something! That said i’m very pleased to see them still in the mix:). The new teams have been one of highlights of 2010 for me, well done to all of them.

    4. “we are in the unique position of being able to further develop our present car as well as working on the development of our future 2011 car, all because of our digital design approach.”

      Err. No. Each team has a certain amount of resource – whether man power, computer processing time or work in twe wind tunnel, and they can go towards either this year or next or a mix. Any work that you do on this years car that doesn’t apply to the next doesn’t help in the long term. This is pure PR.

      “I’m also very pleased that we’ve silenced those critics who said that an F1 car could not be designed entirely in the digital domain”
      Yes, an F1 car can be designed. A competitive one? The jury is still very much out, given that so far your competition has been a team that had a fraction of the time you had to get ready and fairly comfortably beat you until they stopped work on their car, and a team that has had so little money they needed to employ the uselessness that is Sakon Yamamoto to keep afloat, and furthermore have had provlems with the people thehy contracted to design their car such that the car itself has barely improved. It’s far to early to even think of suggesting that a car designed only with computers could be as competitive as one of the midfield teams.

      I appeciate the interest that the new teams have given to the back of the grid (and the consequent requirement for other drivers to negotiate traffic well) but this PR talk doesn’t half annoy me.

      1. Your presuming that work done on this years car wont be carried over.

        There is a good chance that next year they will be using this years car (because of what he has said), so any development done on it between now and then will all still be valid (as long as its not flawed).

        I don’t see how it benefits him more than the other two teams though.

        1. Remember that next year there will be some regulation changes (again) (sigh…). For example anything done on the diffuser will probably be useless next year because of going back to single ones.

        2. As Alex states, the backend will have to be redone for next year with the DDD ban. That will have a major effect.

          But they will certainly use things they find out with development work on this years car to make next years car better. And it takes less resources for them to bring new parts to track, as they don’t need to make any models and windtunnel work before.

          1. Since they started so basic, I think there might be quite a bit of input to the CFD, which they used to make it fit better with the real world, that can be carried over to next year. And maybe they are anyway still working on modeling the Red Bull car in higher and higher detail, using that for this year, and for understanding what to do next year :)

    5. Remember the battle between the owner of Virgin Racing & Lotus Racing & what the other will do if his opponent finishes ahead of him in the championship.

      1. So who are you looking forward to seeing in a stewardess uniform? Branson in Air Asia gear, or Tony Fernandez in Virgin gear?

        1. Looking at the performance I think it will be Branson in Air Asia. He will look cute in the stewardess uniform. I think it was Air Asia who released a picture in the internet of Branson in their plane wearing their uniform.

    6. Charles Carroll
      22nd August 2010, 4:02

      I’m under the impression that not only will Virgin not finish in 10th place, they may not even be around next year.

      Either way, I just can’t get behind this team. I’m not crazy about Virgin as a company, and I’m also not super enthralled with Branson either.

      1. they may not even be around next year.

        Virgin deny it. They’re actually pretty upset with Bernie Ecclestone for insinuating as much.

        When you think about it, Virgin are the best of the new teams. It’s taken twelve races for Lotus to catch up to the extisting teams, but it’s only taken Virgin half as long. Although they had that mistake with the fuel tank being too small, they had to develop the VR-01 to accomodate a larger fuel tank before they could start developing the car to catch up to everyone since you can’t simply lengthen the car – you need to totally re-design it. So they started developing the car proper from five races in, and now that they’re catching Lotus, that means they’ve caught up to the rest of the field in half the amount of time it took Tony Fernandes.

        1. Jarred Walmsley
          22nd August 2010, 9:41

          True, however at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the results. And if Lotus get the Renault engine then Virgin will definitely fall down unless they manage to get the Mercedes or Renault engine

          1. It won’t be down to the engine, that much is certain. Williams are doing just fine with the Cosworth engine and despite everyone whining because of engine parity (I’m looking at you, Red Bull Racing), it’s been said multiple times that all engines are pretty close to each other, so the difference won’t be more than 3-5 tenths.

          2. Maybe the results count, but why would they want to stop?

            – By now they gathered data on a lot of tracks as well as the general characteristics of tyres, ECU, engine and F1 brakes, all of that will be usefull for next year
            – they did not have to invest as much to actually be able to build the cars (using Wirths facilities) but what they needed is in place
            – their budget was already pretty small, no doubt most of it coming from the investors/owners, so why throw away the chance to earn it back in the next years. Even if it was looking bad, they will want to build up an organisation that can be sold to someone in the future

            And last, but not least, after the setback with their Fuel tank mistake, they have been getting closer to the pace in the last 5 races and are beginning to reap the fruits of their CFD strategy and have a chance to beat Lotus to 10th.

            1. Jarred Walmsley
              22nd August 2010, 20:10

              Very true with their CFD strategy they are able to develop the car a lot faster than other teams and hopefully this will work out for them. Incidentiallly does anyone know how the rankings of non point scorers are figured out is it purely on highest finishing position?

            2. Yes, only highest finishing position. If there’s a draw then it’s the second highest and so on.

    7. Why is it everytime you hear from Virgin they are banging on about 10th place? I know that they want the $15 000 000 financial incentive and the honour of being best of the new boys, but so do Lotus and HRT so stop reminding us about it every 5 minutes! Just go out and do it!

      They are starting to sound like the Flynt Tropics from the movie “Senmi-Pro”… “4th Place!!!!” Maybe they will give themselves a special 15 foot tall trophy for winning 10th place?

      1. You must have noticed, most teams issued some kind of statement either before the summer brake (Ferrari) or after they set to work again (FI, Sauber, McLaren).
        Virgin is no exception, although this is also some kind of follow up on John Booth telling us he is not amused with Bernie telling the world that Virgin might not survive for long.

    8. Now that their cars are reliable, Virgin could just make it to 10th place. All it takes is a few retirements from the established teams (at least 7) and they have the chance to get a 12th place which would be enough to get ahead of Lotus in the championship. They have improved a lot in the last few races and with further developments coming up, they’ll propably get faster every race while Lotus have not only stopped developing their car, but they also stopped being reliable…

    9. There’s so much hate in these comments today. Honestly, are you all teenagers?

      Good luck to them I say. I’m enjoying the battle for first place and tenth place this year. I’m glad they haven’t given up yet, it keeps the entertainment going. Surely that’s a good thing for us?

      Yes, it may just be PR talk, but it’s good for team morale that their leader is confident going into the final stages of the season.

      1. Jarred Walmsley
        22nd August 2010, 20:12

        Well, I can’t speak for the others but yea, I’m 17

    10. A few months ago Pitpass had an article about the 2010 budgets. The budget of Lotus was estimated at 56 million, Virgin’s 36 million and HRT’s 33 million.

      If that’s actually accurate then I’d say Virgin are doing extremely well on qualifying and race speed. It would help their case if their cars actually made it to the finish line though.

      BTW Sauber’s was estimated at 46 million and Force India 78 million as the lowest two budgets of the “old” teams. Ferrari at 260 would be the highest budget and Mercedes at 173 million second.

      1. The fact that Ferrari is spending almost double any other team and well over five times the lowest team is…. well, If Alonso wins, It really isn’t so special is it?

        1. I think McLaren should be somewhere between Ferrari and Mercedes, and Red Bull probably has more than Mercedes too.

          1. @Mike. Generally the team that spends the most , ends up having their driver win the championship. According to your theory, I guess no WDC has any ‘special’ championships.

    11. There would have to be a huge pile up for one of the new teams to get a 10th place lol, but it’s not impossible

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