Virgin MVR-02 – Exhaust Positioning

As the round of 2011 car launches nears it end, Virgin were the next team to unveil their new car today. Outwardly the MVR-02 is a simple evolution of the VR01, with every detail improved upon and developments that weren’t readied for last year have been applied (namely the EBD). In order to improve from last years reliability problems the cars hydraulic system has been subject to a lot of development and simulation. However this years must-have aid, KERS, is absent from the car.
One detail of note on the car was the exhaust system. Already the buzz word at every launch, the exhaust mates the simpler diffuser to help produce downforce. In Virgins case they have extended the exhausts to blow over the diffuser. Nick Wirth did confirm a Renault style front exit was simulated, but the more conventional approach has been adopted on the launch car at least.

Slim tapered sidepods allow the low-line exhaust the leave at the exit of the coke bottle shape and extend into the boat-tail formed by the underbody step. This is similar to Saubers idea, but instead Virgins exhausts diverge and blow over the mid part of the diffuser. To aid their airflow, fairings have been added the top of the diffuser; these direct the airflow onto a specific region of the diffuser, just above the inner pair of fences. These fences sit 50cm apart and thus can reach down to the reference plane, some 5cm below the floor of the sidepods. Blowing above these fences would pull air from the underfloor and also from along the underbodies step.

However the other design aspects of the MVR-02 suggest the exhaust outlets might be shifted once the car runs. Firstly the car has a well-shaped and detailed starter hole and secondly the inner face of the wings endplates are coated with heat shielding. Neither of these areas would directly benefit from the current exhaust positioning. So either Virgin will move the inlets inwards to blow partly through the starter hole or move the exits outwards to blow along side the wing endplates. As with most teams the exhaust positions will change and may even form a circuit specific set up, some exhaust exits being used for high downforce tracks and other for lower drag tracks.

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