Back of the field: Chief Virgin designer, Nick Wirth has launched an astonishing attack on the Red Bull team, accusing them of fatally compromising the design of the Dinnington team’s own car thanks to the former’s inability to finish all the races at their optimum pace, writes our finger-pointing-and-foot-stamping correspondent, Jesus Decepticon.
Speaking following the completion of the Malaysian Grand Prix in which Lucas di Grassi limped over the finish line 4 laps down on nothing much more than petrol vapour, Wirth was scathing in his assessment of the Red Bull efforts despite the 1-2 finish they had just completed.
“They are a joke”, he started, “they’ve had a year to figure out why they’re less reliable than BT Broadband and look at them: they still can’t finish a race at the same pace they started it”.
Red Bull: “joke”
“It’s all very well building the fastest car – we anticipated them doing that – but you’ve got to finish. What was it Murray Walker used to say? To finish first, first you have to get to the end…or something. Anyway, they can’t even do that and it’s completely disrespectful to teams like us who have to factor in how many laps down we’ll finish so we can work out how much fuel we need to get there”.
Having recently admitted that the new Virgin VR01 had been built with the slight oversight of never physically being capable of getting to the end of a single race due to the fuel tank being too small, some accused the new team’s chief designer of simply trying to deflect criticism of his own engineering incompetence but Wirth insisted that was far from the case.
Cast of c.H.I.P’s help old bloke stand on a chair
“I am very proud of our car”, he protested, “it represents the latest in state of the art design and technology; we’ve used computers on it and everything. But at this level each component has to be fine-tuned to perfection.
In this particular instance because of one team’s [Red Bull] selfishness in not building a very reliable car we have been made to look stupid through no fault of our own inability to work out how much space 10 gallons of petrol takes up”, he stormed.
Wirth’s frothing is thought to have roused Red Bull’s technical engineering department but then sent them all back to sleep again when they realised who it was.