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Virgin defends decision to snub KERS

Virgin has confirmed that its newly launched MVR-02 car is not designed to accommodate a KERS system.

Along with Lotus and HRT, the three teams are the only ones in formula one who will not benefit from the energy-recovery technology in 2011.

Car designer Nick Wirth defended the decision on the basis that Virgin has other priorities.

“The fact is it (KERS) is extremely expensive and extremely heavy and it is worth about three tenths of a second — we’re after three seconds,” he said at the car’s launch in London on Monday.

And continuing driver Timo Glock agreed that Virgin is not going to be pushing the frontrunners in 2011.

“Realistically you do not make up three or four seconds over the winter, but hopefully we can be closer to the midfield teams,” said the German.

Wirth said the design team’s biggest focus has been reliability, with hydraulics proving the achilles heel in 2010.

He confirmed that while Virgin tried a radical Renault-like forward-exiting exhaust in its computer simulators, the team ultimately opted for a more conservative solution.

“We understand why they (Renault) are doing it, but you need to be a team like Renault from the financial, human and technical resources standpoint to implement it.

“So we’re happy with our solution,” German reports quote Wirth as saying.

Glock told Auto Motor und Sport: “Compared to our competitors we can’t afford to have such radical solutions.”

And the 28-year-old smiled as he confirmed that the fuel tank will be big enough this season.

“That’s not going to happen to us again,” he said.  “This time our tank is too big!”