The Virgins are slipping into the clutches of HRT

Time is running our for the bigwigs at Virgin Racing to start acknowledging the groundswell of popular opinion that its all-CFD design philosophy is a failure.

And now members from rival teams are even calling upon the team – which eschews the use of a wind tunnel in the design of its cars – to reconsider its methods, after its drivers finished well down the order at yesterday’s Chinese Grand Prix, with both Timo Glock and Jérôme d’Ambrosio being lapped by both Team Lotus drivers during the race.

After a troubled debut season in 2010 – where the team finished last in the Constructors’ Championship standings – the team has fallen even further off the pace and is now close to being overtaken by Hispania Racing.

Their poor form has prompted Team Lotus’ Heikki Kovalainen to abandon its all-CFD design policy that develops its cars solely with the use of computer-based computational fluid dynamics.

The designer of the MVR-02 is Nick Wirth, whose Wirth Research company claims to “pioneer the use of advanced virtual engineering technologies [which] reduces the need for costly and wasteful development models and prototype manufacture”.

But Kovalainen believes that the British team is kidding itself if it thinks it can seriously compete with other outfits by continuing down this path.

Even lead driver Timo Glock is becoming increasingly frustrated with the apparent lack of investment in the team, and has repeatedly called upon them to work harder.

Speaking with Auto Motor und Sport, Kovalainen said: “If Adrian Newey works with a wind tunnel, then all the others must do the same.”

[Original image via Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.