Virgin to break ties with technical partners Wirth 02 Jun 2011
Virgin are parting company with technical partners Wirth Research following a disappointing start to the 2011 season. The fledgling team had hoped to move into the midfield this year, but have yet to make it through to the second stage of qualifying or score championship points.
Virgin Racing were established ahead of the 2010 season when Manor Motorsport joined forces with Wirth Research and Virgin to compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship. In November last year, another partner - Russian sports car manufacturer Marussia Motors - joined the board and acquired a significant shareholding.
"Over the past six months, Marussia and the board of directors have undertaken a comprehensive review in order to ensure that Marussia Virgin Racing has the strongest platform, team of people and resources in place to achieve its long-term ambitions, explained the teams CEO Andy Webb in a media statement.
"Integral to this review has been an evaluation of the technical direction of Marussia Virgin Racing. Marussia's goal remains to be in a position to be able to challenge for a podium finish at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix in Sochi 2014. With this in mind, it is readily apparent that the team must take major steps in order to accelerate its rate of improvement.
The decision has been taken that the team will take greater control of its own destiny. Accordingly, having consulted with our existing technical partner during the course of the past few weeks, we have been obliged to terminate our relationship with them.
The team's MVR-02 car was designed entirely in the digital domain, making extensive use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), under the guidance of technical boss Nick Wirth. But so far this year Virgin team mates Timo Glock and Jerome DAmbrosio have struggled to make an impression, with neither qualifying higher than 20th or finishing a race higher than 14th.
Following the departure of Wirth, Virgin are set to pursue a revised technical strategy and are expected to announce their plans in further detail over the coming weeks.
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