Coming of Age - 1Malaysia, Virgin & HRT

Who will catch a midfield team this year?

  • 1 Malaysia

    Votes: 15 78.9%
  • HRT

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Virgin

    Votes: 1 5.3%
  • 1 Malaysia & HRT

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1 Malaysia & Virgin

    Votes: 1 5.3%
  • Virgin & HRT

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • All three

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • None

    Votes: 2 10.5%

  • Total voters
    19
  • Poll closed .

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
The three "new teams" were given certain privileges in 2010 when it came to expectation, and some of us were willing not to write them off. But I doubt they can continue to enjoy such indulgences in their dealings in the future. They must now compete with the midfield.

The team who got closest in dry qualification to toppling a midfield runner were 1Malaysia Lotus, who had Heikki Kovalainen only 0.2 seconds shy of the underperforming Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi. Mike Gascoyne certainly has said that this year's car is a midfield runner in the wings, but you would expect him to say little less. They must hope that the Lotus vs Lotus court case has not diverted their attention.

All is quiet in Yorkshire, where Virgin are readying themselves for a tilt at midfield. Last year they made elementary mistakes, like not ensuring a big enough fuel tank, and thus finished last in the Constructors Championship despite never being the slowest car. However, the car was always a challenge to 1Malaysia, can they push on this year?

As for HRT, they haven't even decided on their second driver at date of writing, although the issue is largely irrelevant since they'll doubtless play the hokey-cokey with at least one seat anyway. Narain Karthikeyan has stumped up the cash (presumably) to take the first seat, but he hardly looked a world (or Thiago Monteiro) beater back at Jordan in 2005. Their H111 has yet to be seen, but their livery is better! That is surely the only positive.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Had to go with 1Malaysia (or whatever they're called - when's the court case BTW?). Can't see Virgin getting anywhere all the time Nick Wirth refuses to use a wind tunnel and HRT, well, I love a plucky loser but they ain't going to be anywhere close to the midfield. Anyone know who is supposed to be building their car this year? I don't think they paid Dallara everything they were supposed to did they?
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Anyone know who is supposed to be building their car this year? I don't think they paid Dallara everything they were supposed to did they?

I don't think it's been disclosed, although I think it was designed by a team under the leadership of Geoff Willis.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor

How different will Lotus Renault GP’s KERS be compared to the 2009 version?
Although the basis of the 2011 system comes from 2009, it has been completely re-engineered to ensure a much more competitive device. So every aspect has been optimised, including its integration with the vehicle. That has meant removing weight and significant repackaging to ensure it can be easily installed and removed from the car. This year’s system represents a weight saving of more than 10kg compared to 2009."

I don't really expect any of them to be that much better than last season.If anything they will be even further away from the midfield.
None of them are running KERS which this season is essential to be competitive.
So the first of them to fit a KERS system will have the best performance.
KERS data from 2009 is irrelevant for this season.The cars are much heavier and start the race with a full fuel load.
80 extra bhp available from the start line will have a marked effect on the run to the first corner and acceleration out of corners.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I've voted for 1Malaysia but I think there was quite a bit of 'heart' in that decision. It's purely based on it 'looking' right - more like a contemporary F1 car than the Virgin to my eyes.

I have read some time ago that the 'new' HRT is re-using last year's chassis, probably including all the mechanicals, suspension etc., so only the bodywork is new. Not sure if that's still the case though (they're not likely to publicise it anyway).
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
1Malaysia are almost there so that was my intelligent choice, I also think Virgin will make up for last years shortcomings and just about make it to the back of the midfield but that's mainly because I want my local team to do well.

As for HRT.....

Hazardous Reliability Traits!
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I've gone with 1 Malaysia. I think they have the best drivers of the 3 teams. I am not convinced that Virgin will make any progress whatsoever. As for HRT--they were an embarrassment last season, and that seemed to be their comfort zone. They have done NOTHING in the offseason to indicate they have any intention of changing that for this year!
 

Puhoon

Podium Finisher
Lotus will be the fastest of these, hard to say if it's enough to catch the midfield. But I'm sure that they will pick a point or two.
 

derby

Test Driver
You just feel that 1Malaysia Lotus have the right technical infastructure in place to make progress, they also have more of a proper team feel to them as well.

As for Virgin, you really do have to question if they have the right infrastructure in place, To go with a 100 percent CFD approach behind a guy who has never designed or developed a competitive car in his career in F1 is a bit naive.

HRT, if they make it through the season, then fair play to them, but I cant see them lining up for the 2012 grid!
 

Pyrope

Podium Finisher
Supporter
I have read some time ago that the 'new' HRT is re-using last year's chassis, probably including all the mechanicals, suspension etc., so only the bodywork is new.

Looking at that car side by side with last year's and not even the bodywork appears to be new... I admire Kolles for keeping the team together and in the game but, like an old asthmatic dog, you can't help feeling that it would be kinder to put it out of its misery sooner rather than later.

As for Virgin, well, again, their car appears to be simply last year's car with a bit of tweaking for the new rules. As was mentioned above, Wirth has never produced a competitive F1 car, and even his much-vaunted Acuras seriously benefitted from the fact that Porsche decided to pull out of North American racing. Whenever someone fielded a Spyder the Acura looked far from special... I have never been convinced by Nick Wirth's ability as an engineer. He's like the geeky kid who understands all the equations but can't "see" a good design. Just look at how the Virgin's front wing is attached. At the start of last year I mentioned to another engineer friend that their wing mounts appeared to have a socking great stress raiser built in just where you don't want one. Sure enough, just days later, a front wing falls off during testing, having failed exactly at the point I identified. The extra reinforcement and bracing that that joint will now be fortified with must be adding weight and cost right at the front of the car, which is a daft place for both. If I, as a lapsed and seriously out of practice engineer, can eyeball bad design, how is it that a highly-paid professional missed it?

So that leaves Team Lotus. This is the only one of the new teams that has looked the part. Their 2011 car is clearly fundamentally new and ambitious, and they seem to be going about building their team the right way. I'm a little disappointed by their ignoring KERS this year, but I fully expect them to again be the best of the tail gunners, and hopefully picking off a few of the midfield when opportunities arise.
 

Andyoak

Race Winner
Having cast my vote I see that I'm going with 76% of you... and the reasons are the same; they appear the most professional and seem to have a both a team and design development plan that is followed. The drivers are of a reasonable quality and the people manageing the team have a better pedigree than the others. I'm afraid this seems a no-brainer... still can't see them doing better than "closer to the mid-field" than last year though.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
Lotus 1 Malaysia really look the most proffesional of the 'new' teams and i expect them to carry this forward into this season, i would imagine that they are going to be the first of the teams to score their first points.
 

Andrea_Moda_Rules

Podium Finisher
I don't think it's been disclosed, although I think it was designed by a team under the leadership of Geoff Willis.

I cannot remember what the company are called, and cannot find it without doing an extensive google seacrh but the tubs are being made by the same people who have made them for Mclaren in the not to distance past, but the rest is supposed to been made by themselves i think.

I have no-idea who is going to catch the 'old teams' or if any will. The gap they had is a large one in f1 tearms to catch anyhow, however i do not think they will passing anyone in the constructors championship this season, they will be lucky if any get a point. Im going to put my money on virgin being the best though, the team streches further then just Nick Wirth. and dispite embrassing mistakes last season, theres a lot of people who what there doing, if it isn't actually in f1.
Also i have a feeling that the Lotus vs Lotus saga, could affect them no track to be honest.
 

derby

Test Driver
Nick Wirth to Virgin is like Adrian Newey to Red Bull, He has a major influence on the cars design, performance, and a huge influence on development. Wirth's career in top flight motorsport is not to be desired, compared to say Mike Gascoigne of Lotus.
 

Andrea_Moda_Rules

Podium Finisher
I don't think that Wirth is the clot everyone seems to think he is. Perhaps not one of the best in F1 be he's not daft. But i really think the Lotus Vs loyus thing could really badly affect them. Things going on off track a lot of times tends to affect what goes on on-Track. I could be made to eat my words and a desicion is made very quickly and everyone will be hugs and kisses again. but these things tend to rumvle on and on and on. Theres problerly going to be a lot of mud slinging again before the court case. When the judgement is made, If they can, there might be appeals claims and counter claims. And i tihnk if that happens Virgin could get an upper hand on the Track.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I don't think Nick Wirth is a clot AMR but I do think his confidence in designing a car just using CFD is exceptionally misplaced. If CFD was the be all and end all of car design Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Williams etc, etc, would not spend the hours and millions of dollars they do on wind tunnel testing (although they do sometimes still end up with a pup).

I just can't see Virgin making any great leaps forwards, the best they can hope for is to be quite a long way ahead of HRT.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I don't think Nick Wirth is a clot AMR but I do think his confidence in designing a car just using CFD is exceptionally misplaced. If CFD was the be all and end all of car design Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Williams etc, etc, would not spend the hours and millions of dollars they do on wind tunnel testing (although they do sometimes still end up with a pup).

If it was someone with a good track record in F1 doing it, then it'd be hailed as a brave new experiment. But his record isn't great!
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Realistically, Wirth is only using CFD because they can't afford a windtunnel. The money available is very limited, and any sponsorship that comes on the car seems to offset Virgin's contributions, with little net gain.

Now if he was honest about this and said it was an experiment that he believed would work for them, I might have more sympathy. Instead there's a peculiar zeal about a lot of Wirth's pronouncements, rather implying that all the other designers are dinosaurs - or at least, stuck in the dark ages. I thought good engineers were pragmatic, in general, rather than doctrinaire?
 
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