Newey doubts Virgin’s no wind tunnel route

Fri, 12 February 2010, 10:01

Feb.12 (GMM) Adrian Newey has waded into the debate about Virgin’s decision to design its 2010 car without using a wind tunnel.

Virgin rival Lotus’ team boss Tony Fernandes recently doubted Nick Wirth’s wisdom in deciding to pen the VR-01 with only the aid of computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

“I am from the aviation business, mate. You can’t. You’ve got to have a wind tunnel,” Fernandes said.

Virgin, whose designer also penned the 1994 Simtek car, had to stop testing at Jerez on Thursday when the car’s front wing broke off.

When Timo Glock returned to the pits, he confided that he had run over a kerb prior to the failure.

Red Bull’s Newey, regarded as arguably the best car designer in F1, admitted that CFD-only design has “pitfalls” when compared with combining the tool with wind tunnels.

“How well it (the Virgin car) turns out, we shall see,” said the Briton.

“It is a different route, and my personal belief is that you still need to combine the two at the moment. But maybe their car will go very well and I will have to revise my opinion,” added Newey.

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