Virgin announces technical link-up with McLaren
4 July 2011 – Virgin Racing has announced a technical partnership with McLaren, which includes the use of its Woking wind tunnel. This follows the recent ousting of Nick Wirth, whose research outfit has developed cars only by use of computer technology.
Since joining Formula 1 at the start of 2010, the John Booth-run team has designed its cars by using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), with no wind tunnels being used at any stage of production.
It has also been confirmed on Monday that the team has acquired the Formula 1 arm of Wirth Research Technologies (WRT) in Banbury, which becomes a long-term facility for the squad. Furthermore, Virgin will continue to receive input from Pat Symonds, former Technical Director of Renault.
“When we undertook our detailed review of the team in the first half of 2011, it was clear that our bold ambitions for the future would need to be matched with some equally bold steps towards achieving them,” says Andy Webb, CEO of Virgin Racing.
“I am delighted that, in a relatively short space of time, we are now in the fantastic position of being able to make these two very important announcements, which will enable us to make some dramatic strides forward with immediate effect.
“With Pat Symonds’ continued involvement in the technical programme, we are confident that we have made all the right moves towards a successful future for Marussia Virgin Racing and we now head into one of the most important events for our team, the British Grand Prix, with renewed confidence and a great deal of excitement about the future.”
The move has also been welcomed by McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh.
“These properties are state-of-the-art and we confidently therefore expect Virgin Racing to derive significant benefits from them,” he says of the Woking Technology Centre.
“During the period in which we were agreeing this deal, our experience of dealing with Andy and his team was extremely positive and we recognise that he and his colleagues are very serious about making developments that will lift the competitiveness of their cars over the coming months and years. We wish them well.”