MVR-02 1

Virgin Racing unveiled its 2011 Formula 1 car today, and like its first go-around last season this black and red monster is again cut entirely from virtual cloth.

Here’s what the team is saying:

As with the VR-01, the aerodynamics of the MVR-02 have been designed entirely using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) now using the most powerful supercomputer allowed by current agreements.

As already announced, the driver line-up for the 20 Grands Prix on the 2011 Formula One World Championship calend consists of Germany’s Timo Glock and Belgium’s Jérôme d’Ambrosio, who makes his Formula One debut with the team this season.

The car is the first to bear the MVR chassis designation, following Russian performance car manufacturer Marussia’s acquisition of a significant stake in the team at the end of last season.

Marussia Virgin Racing bucked the trend of a trackside roll-out and instead opted to reveal the MVR-02 during a recorded television production – ‘An Audience with Marussia Virgin Racing’ – which took place in front of a packed audience of Media and Team Partners at the famous television studios. True to the team’s commitment to its burgeoning fan base, Marussia Virgin Racing also welcomed a large contingent of its social media followers to the event and they were at the heart of the action as the wraps came off the new car in Studio 1.

The television production will be broadcast later today via the team’s website, with programming schedules available via the team’s Twitter feed @marussiavirgin.

Pictures of the car (I’m sure Negative Camber will have one here soon) are at the team’s site.

MVR-02 2

Here are the specs:


Virgin Racing carbon fibre construction monocoque and nosebox

Virgin Racing carbon fibre construction with titanium flexure joints

Virgin Racing aluminium ally construction




Fuel cell
‘FT5’ safety specification

Fuel capacity
In excess of 220 litres

AP Racing 4 potcalipers

Hitco Carbon-Carbon

Steering wheel
Virgin Racing carbon fibre construction

Power steering
Virgin Racing hydraulic steering assist

Driver seat
Anatomically formed carbon composite

Seat belts
Six point harness (75mm shoulder straps with HANS system)

ECU and logging system
FIA standard ECU & FIA homologated electronic and electrical system

Virgin Racing precision aluminium construction with 7-speed, longitudinally Mounted internals

Electronically controlled hydraulic differencial

Gear selection
Paddle operated hydraulic shift system with “seamless shift”

AP Racing

One-piece driveshafts with integral tripod joints

Overall Length
Approx 5200 mm

Overall Height
Approx 950 mm

Overall Width
Approx 1800 mm

Approx 3300 mm

Cosworth CA2011

Duty Cycle Type
4 stroke reciprocating piston, normally aspirated

8 cylinders in banked V configuration with an angle of 90 degrees

Cast aluminium alloy cylinder block and head, forged aluminium pistons, steel crankshaft


32 with pneumatic valve springs

Maximum speed
Limited to 18,000rpm

Double overhead cams driven via compliant gear from crankshaft

In excess of 95kg

Cylinder Bore
Less than 98mm

8 injectors supplied by a pressurized system at 100bar

8 ignition coils each driving single spark plug

Dry sump

Spark Plugs

My post-vacation, early morning brain — one that’s still trying to collect all the terrible Robert Kubica news — can’t help but focus on the team’s insistence on going the CFD route again. Did anything happen in 2010 that makes that seem like a good idea? The Marussia money wasn’t enough for the team to do a little real world work? Do team leaders think it will be a big deal to be the first all-CFD car to score a point, if that ever happens?

  • Tobytubes

    With regards to CFD, with the real world inputs of last year, I’d have thought they could refine the model quite a bit. One of VR’s problems is, they is an agreed limit on computing power with the F1 teams and I can remember VR last year hinting that they could do more on the computing front but weren’t allowed.

    Also, it’s not as if any other F1 teams are not using CFD and supercomputers in the design process as well as other design processes.

    I think they can make a case for reward vs cost for lots of modelling work against a limited amount of physical wint tunnel testing. It’s the way of the future and if we turn it around and look at what succeeded last year – the car was often as fast as the Lotus car, if less reliable and overall as a first outing wasn’t the disaster it could have been. With the learning and refining the process, why not points as the target?

    • Tobytubes

      I also think it’s a better stratergy for VR to be good at one aspect (CFD) than rubbish at all aspects (HRT) – If they get a name for good CFD work it could bring it’s own rewards (consultancy, technical partnerships) in terms of revenue and alliances in the paddock.

    • Royce Amatique

      Precisely, it wasn’t especially slow last year so why people think they should rubbish the idea of CFD only is beyond me.

      The real test of the concept is whether they can develop at the same pace as other teams. This year will give a much better idea I think.

  • SMB

    Am I the only one who thinks this is the ugliest car on the grid? I didn’t mind how slow it was last year because it meant I could admire its CFD beauty but this is an eye sore. It actually looks slow.

    • Tobytubes

      Just had a look at it on the VR website.

      Nope, you’re right, it does look ugly. Time to drop the CFD and get a Hollywood cartoonist to draw the car. An ugly F1 car is a sin.

  • nofahz

    only car I’ve seen with a low nose

    • Robf1ction

      only car i’ve seen with a nose wide enough to land a f22 jet on.

  • UniversalExports

    the shame is that they can’t fully exploit the capabilities of a fully CFD designed car, under that agreement that dictates how much money they’re supposed to spend on certain aspects of car design they can only spend so much money ie. they can’t re-allocate the money that would be spending on wind tunnel testing for their CFD… and frankly, it’s a joke that they have a limit on how much computing power their supercomputer can have (CFD’s place in F1 has been ever solidified after testing was banned, which was supposed to “save money”)

    • Steven

      How does CFD cost money though? If they have the supercomputers dont they just run them? A little explanation for the un-initiated would be nice.

      • UniversalExports

        perhaps I didn’t clarify properly, there are mandates within F1 that dictate how much time can be spent in the wind tunnel, this is an effort to limit the number of hours spend on the process of designing a car in a wind tunnel… it is very similar to mandating how much money can be spent on CFD. Like the wind tunnel, CFD is a process in designing a race car and when I mean “CFD costs money” I associate all the man hours that are required to design a car using that process. The appeal of CFD over wind tunnels is the ability to accurately and reliably test aspects of a car that would comparably take more time ($$$) to develop in a wind tunnel, not to mention the savings of simply running a supercomputer versus running a state of the art wind tunnel

  • gsprings1

    not crazy about that paint scheme,but i think the car looks ok

  • Jim

    After looking at what McLaren, Ferrari, Renault, etc.. have brought to the table I wonder if Virgin’s idea of CFD is an etch-a-sketch and a pack of crayola washable markers

  • Tim

    I don’t necessarily think the shape of the car looks that bad, but that livery (color and all) is a whole different story. That being said, if it goes fast and makes a challenge at the mid field teams, who cares what it looks like. =)

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