McLaren and Virgin Racing Partnership
Marussia Motors, a Russian sports car manufacturer, bought interests in the Virgin Racing team last year. Virgin Racing made the move to buy out Nick Wirth’s Formula 1 division of Wirth Research Technologies, but after experiencing a very disappointing start to their Formula 1 season, for a second time, Virgin Racing decided to move away from Wirth. Wirth was instrumental in designing and developing the team’s car, as well being leaders in the formulation of computational fluid dynamics, but the team believes they have a greater chance of success with McLaren.
McLaren and Virgin Racing have agreed to a technical partnership that will be a great advantage for Virgin Racing, as they will have access to various McLaren facilities, such as their test rigs, wind tunnel and even their driver simulator. Production staff and the McLaren management team will be working closely with Virgin Racing, assisting them in every technology related issue.
Andy Webb, chief executive of Virgin Racing, is confident that the technical agreement between them and McLaren will allow his team the opportunity to make the necessary changes to their car to improve their performances. This will also hopefully permit Virgin Racing to move forward in the sport. Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren’s team boss, has no doubt that Virgin Racing will only benefit from their agreement.
Another component to Virgin’s bid to improve and gain knowledge is Pat Symonds, who will be acting as a consultant, assisting them with technical advice, bringing them closer to their ambitions. Symonds was engineering director for Renault until his suspension in 2008.
Whitmarsh also went on to say that McLaren recognizes that the Virgin Racing Team is extremely serious about racing and developing their team to the point where they are able to be formidable Formula 1 competitors. Even though Virgin Racing will be learning from the technical advances of McLaren, they have confirmed that they will not be replacing the Cosworth engines that are presently in their cars.