Former Renault technical director Pat Symonds has been brought into the Virgin Racing factory to perform an urgent review of its operation in the wake of the team’s less-than-flattering start to its second championship season in Formula 1.
The team’s new Nick Wirth-designed MVR-02 has so far failed to deliver the step up in performance that the team was hoping for, with the outfit having declared that it hoped to be able to move up towards the lower midfield in terms of competitiveness.
Symonds – who the team hired as a contractor in February – will now look for answers as to why the team has fallen off the pace, although a major aerodynamic upgrade is in the works for the next Grand Prix in Turkey, which is in a fortnight’s time.
The team’s hiring of Symonds – who was banned by the FIA for his role in the disgraceful ‘Crashgate’ affair at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix – has itself been a contentious issue, but the team will be hoping that his experience will help unearth some of the team’s inherent problems.
One of the major recommendations from Symonds, it would seem, is that the team actually puts its MVR-02 through its paces in a wind tunnel – an avenue that the team has previously avoided going down.
It is believed that the team may hire some wind tunnel testing time from Mercedes GP, which recently offered its second wind tunnel for use by other teams.