Virgin VR-01’s track debut (Pictures)

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Lucas di Grassi sampled the Virgin VR-01 on Friday
Lucas di Grassi sampled the Virgin VR-01 on Friday

Virgin Racing have run their VR-01 for the first time at Silverstone.

See below for pictures of Timo Glock driving the car around the Stowe circuit.

Update: Pictures of Lucas di Grassi’s Friday test in the VR-01 added.

It’s the first chance for the team to see if their VR-01, designed without wind tunnel testing, behaves the same way in real life that computer simulations predicted.

The team will conduct a longer test tomorrow with Lucas di Grassi getting his first taste of the car.

After that they will join the other teams for the second group test at Jerez on Wednesday.

Meanwhile there are rumours Portugal’s Alvaro Parente will lose his place as the team’s third driver after a sponsorship deal fell through. That would leave Luiz Razia as the team’s sole reserve driver.

See more pictures of the Virgin VR-01: Virgin Racing VR-01 launch pictures

Image (C) Virgin Racing

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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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69 comments on “Virgin VR-01’s track debut (Pictures)”

  1. i’m surprised they are still using that simple front wing – i thought it was just for show!

    1. It may be, they aren’t racing yet. They say the car does exactly the same thing on the computer. They may be holding cards close to their chest.

      1. also this was a shakedown more than a proper test.

        Funny thing about these shakedowns it always bloody rains, or snows if your Ferrari.

        1. And it was on the Silverstone Stow circuit, which is short and twisty even in a Formula Ford car, let alone an F1 car.

  2. The livery does look pretty cool… I wonder if they’ll post any times… The car seems to change color a lot… looks red in some pics and orange in others… and in this twitpic the design on the front wing looks different all together…
    I hope they do well… :)

    1. Looks like the same front wing?

      Perhaps the large area creates quite a lot of downforce (like a reversed aerofoil) but I’ll be surprised if they don’t have a complex jumble at Jerez like everyone else.

      1. Presumably it does create a lot of downforce but that’ll come hand in hand with an awful lot of drag, the thing about formula one is putting any kind of scoop or angled carbon fibe on your car will give you downforce. Anyone can keep a car on the floor it’s doing it efficiently that make an aerodynamisist.

        Also uncomplicated downforce mechanisms tend to unhelpful while cornering due to messy airflow. If your front wing is creating turbulence what the hell is the back of your car going to do.

        This was the reason the MP4 24 had such problems, turbulent airflow underneath the car. You want nice clean laminar flow with your downforce, which is why it all looks so complex, to keep the air clean.

        1. As far as I’m aware, there probably isn’t much, if any aero data to be had from these demonstration runs. So why show off the pretty little fiddly bits that everyone can see and learn from when you could use an up-turned Cessna wing (mildly metaphorically speaking) which gives 90% of the same result.

        2. That was very informative, thanks.

      2. sorry I meant the color of the design on the front wing… it’s yellow with red outline.. :)

    2. Agreed. Livery looks awesome!

    3. I agree in some pictures the livery seems to be orange and others it seems to be red, the same thing happens with the McLaren livery.

      I believe this maybe because on TV the colours appear darker so they have to use a brighter shade of red to get the colour they want on TV, which was why when Jaguar had their short spell in F1 they didn’t use classic British Racing Green but a lighter shade.

      Personally I prefer both the McLaren and Virgin liveries when they appear red rather than orange.

      1. I love it, it all looks so deliciously 90’s.

      2. Also it depends on your monitor, depends on your browser, depends on your operating system, depends on the model of camera used, depends if the photographer calibrated his camera (probably not, sports don’t usually bother), depends on the light on the day and how that relates to the camera settings… etc.

        I lost a month of my life to colour management… and became an ardent fan of black and white photography ever since ;p

  3. So glock gets the first go in the virgin.

    Ohh so many bad jokes to come.

    1. he he… well said….
      i m too waiting for a virgin.. lol

      1. Mouse_Nightshirt
        5th February 2010, 11:59

        I hope Glock drove that Virgin hard…

  4. If the car drives aswell as it looks then the big boys better watch out!
    Will be interesting to see how the car behaves in reality compared to the computer projection. Well done to the virgin boys for getting it together and running a car so quickly.

  5. The livery is one of my favorites. Macca’s has been good looking for the last number of years, but this really pops out.

    1. definately my favourite livery so far. I Love the trible patterns.

      Coperate sponsership doesn’t make your cars sole purpose in life the mindless hocking of goods to your zombie captive market. Make your car look a racer for goodness sake, make your nose into a snake, put patterns on your wings and let people know theres 750 rampant horses under that engine cover!

  6. good to see at least one of the new teams up and running… any timings for these runs yet? how close to reasonable silverstone laptimes are they getting?

    (yes yes i know that testing times are not in themselves representative, but if they’re within a couple of seconds of the slowest last year, then at least we know they’re on the right track)

    1. They’re running on the Stowe Circuit, which is also currently in the middle of being renovated, so I doubt any lap times will be released, and if they are, they’ll be near-enough meaningless. I know Brawn did their shakedown on the Stowe Circuit last year, but there were never any lap times released, and they might be running on a different version of the circuit due to the building work.

      1. Plus the whole purpose of a shakedown test is to identify and resolve any major problems ahead of the three day test next week, not to go for lap times.

        Hence “shakedown” – you shake the car and see if anything falls off!

        The test is intended to make sure everything works properly when under load, e.g. gearbox, electronics, hydraulics, cooling and other systems, plus getting Glock comfortable in the car and familiar with the various control systems. The last thing Virgin needs is lose track time next week to typical new car problems.

  7. PS… thanks for getting teh site back up Keith… I was starting to shake… ;)

  8. The front wing endplates are very, very “plain” if that’s the right word. They were a big thing last year along with the diffuser.

    But at least they have a car, unlike USF1 & Campos.

    I hope they do well. The car looks brilliant.

    1. They’re not too “plain” and without any track time there’s no point over complicating things.

      They’ve got small holes on the inner side of each endplate like the Mcclaren started using late on, and the endplate side bit is more than one piece. This makes it more complicated than what all the teams last year started with.

    2. The plain bit is the simplistic wing elements.

      Flat bit followed by an up bit. huh, doesn;t set the world alight.

      If they haven’t at least developed cascades by Bahrain imma be a bit nervous.

      1. Sweet lookin car though, it has to be said.

        Though I fear it may be nearer to the back of the grid than the front.

        And I base that on absolutely nothing. :P

    3. USF1 has a car…we are testing it in the USA

      1. HounslowBusGarage
        5th February 2010, 8:50

        Does that mean that you are something to do with the team, DJ?

        1. Yes DJ, I would like to know aswell. And as far as I know the only track testing allowed are the official tests in Europe, like at Valencia, Jerez and Catalunya.

          1. HounslowBusGarage
            5th February 2010, 15:38

            Actually Kevin, US-F1 were given special dispensation to test at Barber Motorsports Park. But I’d still like to know if DJ is a team-member or just a dedicated fan.

    4. I wish people would stop dumping on USF1 for no reason – they certainly seem to have their act together.

      Last time I looked, RedBull didn’t have a car yet either.

      1. I second that. every one is so critical of usf1 in europe…

        funny how F1 wants to break to the US market but they tend to do the opposite…

      2. Not to go slagging off USF1…but we already know that Red Bull had a 2009 car, i.e. we know that they have the infrastructure and the means as they’ve done it before.

        Starting from scratch as USF1 are, in a short space of time, it’s not really a simple comparison.

        For what it’s worth I think USF1 wil make it, definitely more likely than Campos, but at the moment it’s hard to argue that they’ve LOOKED as likely to be there when you compare to Virgin.

  9. Best looking body style by far IMO.I can’t stand the shark fins on the other cars.Now lets see if the CFD design can hold up against the tried and true method of wind tunnel testing.If so,we have entered a new era of racing.

    1. Seing a shark fin on a McLaren made me spit blood.

      1. their shark fin is hideous! looks more like some body part of a flying dinosaur lol

  10. Its Hammer Time
    4th February 2010, 23:23

    That is one beautiful Virgin :-)

    1. Cut the “virgin” quips guys.

      It’s puerile and childish and lowers the tone of an otherwise above-par forum.

  11. Keith, Álvaro Parente has lost his contract with Virgin. The problem seems to lie with the Portuguese Tourism Institute, which was sponsoring his position as a test driver, but backed down some time between the team presentation and the car presentation. There are some news about it in the Portuguese newspapers, if you want tomorrow I can translate some of the relevant parts.

    1. That would be great thanks Pedro.

  12. Prisoner Monkeys
    4th February 2010, 23:58

    She’s looking good.

    Anybody else think that the VR-01 livery is the first legitimate challenger to the JPS Lotus black and gold design for the award of Best Livery?

    1. Jarred Walmsley
      5th February 2010, 6:25

      Yes, the Virgin livery is so awesome especially with those tribal graphics on the wing.

    2. Best livery ever?! Whoah, calm down, it’s nice but not that nice…

      1. Jarred Walmsley
        6th February 2010, 20:45

        Maybe not the best ever, however it is the best livery so far this season.

  13. the car looks great, like the livery, good luck to them.

  14. Aleksandar Serbia
    5th February 2010, 1:15

    Best looking paint in f1, not chassis, nose is hideous!!!

    1. The humpy nose reminds me of the Concorde somehow.

  15. Virgin Yamaha Superbikes of a few years ago had a similar livery.

  16. Do we have a time?

    1. I doubt there will be a time.

  17. Absolutely love Glock’s new helmet design.

    1. Agreed, it goes well with the livery too.

  18. that front wing is how they all should be, those stupid flip ups thats still found thier way back onto the cars early in ’09 look horrible! i thought they were to be banned?

  19. Stunning looking car! Easily the best looker of the season. Give her a few months of being used and abused around the world and I’m sure she’ll get a bit flappier and girthier in parts, though.

    And what did I say about having Branson on board? That car’s got more sponsorship on it that most of the established teams. Contrast that with having Nick Fry doing your marketing and sponsorship – nothing on the car, and a large barrister’s bill from the courts.

  20. It looks like a Spyker!! Probably be as quick as one too!

  21. I am happy to see Glock keeping a place on F1 and driving this good looking VR-01.

    Good also to see that Virgin (it was Manor before right?) decided to go with Glock. I think he’s a good driver, and will do right for a new team!

    Very bad is for Parente (I’m portuguese also) because again politics seemed to got in the way, and a good driver inserted in a good programm (F1 reserve driver, driving in GP2 and good chance to be on the F1 rostrum next year) is now just waiting in the corner.
    And we’ll not see Portugal’s name in a F1 car, which has a lot of visibility and doesn’t cost as much as other advertising campaings, will far less exposure…

  22. I guess Glock didn’t drive her to hard. After all, she is a Virgin (god, this is going to be the best season ever!)

    I’d love it if the car ended up being competitive. Would tell us that we (humans, engineers) have done great strides in modelisation (is it the right word in English?)

  23. To be honest, i think Di Grassi will be in a good shape to fight versus Glock. But Razia is very green to take a third driver role.

  24. I hope virgin racing are the best out of the rookie teams. I just have a good feeling about them!

    1. I’m waiting till we see the lotus. I feel a curious sense of duty with regards to Kovalinen. I feel he deserves his now.

  25. It’s a shame but I can’t find a lot of video of the shake down. only this:

    It all sounds very tentative. I guess they are sensibly being super cautious and have the RPM on the engine turned right down. It sounds rather low and rumbly to me compared to a normal F1 car.

    I wonder if the Cosworth has the facility to not run on all its cylinders like the other F1 engines. I’ll listen out for that when they are waiting at the end of the pit lane in Bahrain.

    1. Jarred Walmsley
      7th February 2010, 20:46

      Yes, you’re right it does sound alot deeper than the mercedes or ferrari or renault engines. It sounds alot more traditonaly V8 than the screaming V8’s normally in F1

  26. It would be great if you could write about Parente’s situation. This situation needs to be known. I’ve sent alredy an e-mail to Portuguese Tourism Institute but no answer yet. Meanwhile, there is a petition on a portuguese website to support Álvaro Parente. That petition could then be sent to the Portuguese Parliament and to Portuguese Tourism Institute. There’s a manifestation being prepared too. They are thinking in inviting Portugal’s drivers and ask them to bring their cars to do some noise on Lisbon streets.

  27. Love the livery, looks great

  28. We want turbos
    7th February 2010, 16:26

    Dosent matter how fast it is it’ll be made of steel so they should just ram their way through

  29. i can’t but admire the great look of this VR-01 f1 car it looks great, although im supporting Lotus this year :)

  30. Not bad looking at all. Very slick and tidy looking. It does not have that middle heavy look which makes it look a little more nimble but its the track times that will tell…

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