USF1 car designed without wind tunnel

Peter Windsor

Dec.27 (GMM) A second 2010 formula one car has been designed without the aid of a wind tunnel.

A minor spat between the new Virgin and Lotus teams erupted earlier this month when Virgin designer Nick Wirth said his single seater for next year had benefited only from computational fluid dynamics technology.

“I am from the aviation business, mate. You’ve got to have a wind tunnel,” said Lotus’ Tony Fernandes.

USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor, however, has now revealed that the new American team’s 2010 design has also not yet seen the inside of a wind tunnel.

Referring to Wirth’s comments, he wrote in a blog entry on the new USF1 website: “The same thing (CFD) applies to our car, although we see this as a logical process for a new team rather than something about which to be particularly excited.”

Windsor clarified that the team will eventually make use of the state-of-the-art, $41 million new Windshear wind tunnel, which like USF1 is located in Charlotte.

“Windshear is about 15 minutes’ drive from our headquarters and will prove to be invaluable when we start to aero-map the full-size car in January,” he said.

“We have no model shop … and none of the expenditure and complication of running a model shop. Our ‘model’ is the real car -– and, as a new team in F1, we will be able to test at Windshear on numerous occasions in 2010,” added Windsor.

The Briton, whose recent F1 role has been as a broadcaster and journalist but in the past worked for Williams and Ferrari, also revealed that USF1’s European base at the new Motorland facility in Alcaniz (Spain) is “nearly finished”.

“Very soon we’ll be announcing our driver lineup for 2010 plus a whole lot more besides,” said Windsor.