DECEMBER 3, 2010

Virgin to rely on CFD again

Virgin Racing team principal John Booth says he has faith in computational fluid dynamics after the outfit's first year of exclusively using Wirth Research's CFD capability to race in F1.

Booth confirmed that the same methods will be employed for 2011 and added that it was the cost-saving potential of CFD that allowed the team to carry on after Max Mosley's original budget cap plans did not come to fruition.

"We took the decision to continue, but within the financial framework we'd decided on for the old regulations and we could only do that because of Nick's CFD capability," Both explains. "The Silverstone upgrade that we made to the car would have cost six, eight times as much if it had been developed in the conventional manner.

"The hydraulics and associated parts - we had a lot of problems with the differential - gave us some trouble this year but I was not at all nervous about the concept of a car done entirely with CFD. I always had faith in that.

"All the teams are relying more and more on CFD. In fact, my prediction is that wind tunnels will be a thing of the past and by the time Malaysia1 (Lotus) get theirs built, they will be redundant. When you look at the pace of development, particularly in the front wing area, there's no way that can be done in a wind tunnel, there's not enough hours in the day. People will start splitting the resource much more towards CFD.

"Nick Wirth is a massive enthusiast who finds the technology very stimulating and he loves pushing CFD to the next level and is very big into simulators, so we've actually got two at Wirth Research, which we use a lot."

Timo Glock has recently refuted speculation that he is looking to leave the team and confirmed that he will race with Virgin again in 2011.