Virgin won't go all the way - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-27-2010, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Virgin won't go all the way

(GMM) More cars on Sunday's Melbourne grid might also have fuel tanks that cannot carry enough fuel to the end of races.

That was the suggestion on Saturday of Virgin's primary sponsor Sir Richard Branson and technical boss Nick Wirth, as the F1 paddock expresses amazement at the new British team's apparent design blunder.

Wirth insisted to the BBC that a last-minute switch to lower density fuel for 2010 fudged his numbers, admitting: "We pushed the boundaries and got something wrong; possibly we're not the only people to make that mistake."

British billionaire Branson, in the Albert Park paddock on Saturday, added: "I think you will find that there are a number of cars that are challenged in this area."

Virgin aside, the only teams that did not get at least one car to the checkered flag in Bahrain two weeks ago were Sauber and HRT.

Mercedes boss Ross Brawn admitted on Friday that getting the fuel tank size right for 2010 was a challenge.

"I think all of the top teams, certainly, have had enough knowledge from previous years to be able to judge the size of fuel tank (required) and none of us have made them any bigger than they need to be," he said.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Nick Wirth has revealed that his company, Wirth Research, will pay for all redesign work on the Virgin Racing car as it is modified in order to incorporate a large enough fuel tank. The new model is expected to break cover at the Spanish Grand Prix, the first race of the European season, in May. Having been the first designer in Formula 1 history to entirely produce a car by using computer technology (Computational Fluid Dynamic, CFD) only, Wirth's design currently suffers the defect of a fuel tank which is not large enough to house enough fuel for the duration of a race - something his own company will literally pay for.

"The chassis supplier is us," he said to Autosport. "Nothing to do with engine supplier or fuel supplier. What that means is that we are fixing it for the team.

"We are not charging the team; it's our responsibility to provide cars that can finish a Grand Prix. It's down to us."
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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(GMM) While F1 personnel devise imaginative routes back to Europe, the harshest impact of the volcanic ash lingering above Europe could fall on Virgin.

With FIA clearance, the new British team has been busily designing a new chassis to accommodate a fuel tank big enough to take its cars to the end of races.

The package, at an estimated development cost of 1 million pounds sterling, was due to debut in Barcelona in three weeks.

But F1's hundreds of kilos of freight - including the two race cars driven by Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock in Shanghai - are currently holed up at Shanghai airport while the six 747 jets are stranded back in Europe.

It means the Virgin cars, including a third spare monocoque, might not be returned to the Yorkshire base in time - or at all before being shipped to Barcelona - so they can be modified for the new chassis package.

It is believed Virgin only has a single VR-01 monocoque already at the factory, so it is possible that either di Grassi or Glock could be forced to contest Spain next month with the too-small fuel tank still fitted.

However, given Virgin's reliability record so far, the drivers are rarely in need of a full tank of fuel. Only in Malaysia did Brazilian rookie di Grassi make it to the checkered flag.

At every other race so far, the 25-year-old has retired, while Glock has not completed a full grand prix distance at all in 2010.
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