Virgin Considered Forward Exhausts for MVR-02
However, Wirth insisted he did so not because the forward exhaust system doesn't work properly on an F1 car, but because of the immense costs linked with redesigning the entire car because of it.
“It is a massive, massive undertaking what they have done,” said Wirth, referring to Renault and their innovative exhaust system.
“Getting high temperature exhaust gases past a fuel system, past wiring, past hydraulics, past a cooling system, and most important – getting it past the side-impact structures, which are not normally tested at anything other than room temperature – so they have to satisfy the FIA that it is legal even when it is hot.”
“That is just a massive job and hats off to them for having the bravery to do something like that.”
The Virgin official admitted that his team in fact tested how the car would behave with the system in the simulator and in the end decided the huge investment won't be translated into that big of a progress on track.
“I can confirm that we have tried a solution very similar to what you see on the other car – and it gives results that are very different from ours. We actually went so far as getting our drivers to test it on a simulator to see whether it would be an advantage. We could see why they [Renault] have done it, but it takes a team of the financial, human and technical resources of Renault to make that happen.”
Marussia Virgin Racing is the only team that designed its 2011 F1 car, as they did with its predecessor VR-01, based entirely on computational fluid dynamics (CFD), no wind tunnel included.