Virgin’s MVR-02 Breaks Cover
Formula One’s newest Russian team, and one which they’d probably like us to call Marussia but which we’ll all no doubt continue to call Virgin, revealed their new car today. However, designated the MVR-02 you’ll be hard pressed to see what has changed since the VR-01 last raced in earnest.
Not that it is entirely unchanged but apart from a lower nose, it only seems to be carrying the upgrades it should have benefited from in the latter half of 2010. The main change in this regard is the development of an exhaust blown diffuser although it remains to be seen how final the launch solution is. At the moment, the exhausts trail out from the rear of the car to blow over the top of the diffuser but heat shielding on the rear wing endplates and a well developed starter hole suggest it may well move. “The next time you will really notice anything on our car will be Turkey as I am sure us, along with anybody else, will be holding back a major update until then for logistical reasons really,” says technical director Nick Wirth. “Our aim for the first four flyaway races is to be reliable – that is first and foremost important. You have all those KERS cars out there, which may or may not go wrong, and I am not sure people will be really happy driving cars with 800 volt electrics in the pouring rain in Malaysia.”
Instead, most of the attention has been focussed underneath the bodywork. With twelve races ending prematurely last year due to gearbox, hydraulics and other mechanical problems, it’s obvious why. “There were some things that went wrong last year that were outside of our control,” explains Wirth. “But I took it on the chin and took one for the team, but there were things that we really, really did not get right – the lubrication systems in the gearbox in particular which were absolutely down to us and we want to right those wrongs.” Hopefully, the MVR-02 has also been designed around the correctly sized fuel cell. However, one thing the chassis is not planned to accommodate is KERS.
The team’s aim is to be targetting Q2 of qualifying on a regular basis, will this be the car to achieve it?
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Images © Marussia Virgin Racing 2011