Nick WirthВсе о Nick Wirth
This week's Motorsport world remembers not only the great Ayrton Senna, but Roland Ratzenberger, whose life ended 20 years ago on that fateful weekend in Imola.
In 1994, 33-year-old Austrian pilot signed a contract for five races with Simtek, a new team of Formula 1, the founder, owner and technical Director of which was Nick Wirth, later technical Director of the Virgin Racing. Wirth told Sky Sports memories about your first meeting with Ratzeburger.
Nick Wirth "I will never forget our first meeting, when Roland first came to the base Simtek in Banbury. I lived in a small village close to Silverstone. 't remember how or why it happened, but he was called to throw me home. It turned out that he came to our office on one of the smallest cars which could be rented he was the size of a Fiat 500, maybe it was a Ford Fiesta with the engine volume of 1 litre.
All who live in those places, know the road that leads from Banbury to Silverstone. And we raced along this road with insane speed, perhaps a little breaking the rules. And there, at the end of a long straight section, there is an eerie right turn is the one who did understand what I mean. Now there is established a police camera to control the speed regime.
And when we're at full speed approached the place, I warned him Roland, be careful, this is a very tricky turn. And he just looked at me with his special opinion, which I even had time to get used to. And we have overcome this turn, did not reduce speed, flying into the oncoming lane, on this small Ford. Anyone who has tried to do the same, clearly, would not be able to stay on the road and would be in a ditch in an upside-down car. Before my eyes managed to zip all my life, but somehow Roland moved out, using and the curb, and the side - in my memory it was the most incredible example of skilful driving.
And when he came out of this turning on his face shone with a wide smile, but I was white as snow. But that case I will remember for a lifetime. Although it is clear that Ford Fiesta - not the machine of Formula 1, I thought, this guy knows something about the art of driving"
In the team Marussia Virgin Racing summed up the results of tests in Jerez. In the final day behind the wheel of a new chassis MVR-02 worked as a debutant of the upcoming fifa belgian Jerome d Ambrosio, which drove 45 laps and finished the day with the tenth time.
Jerome D Ambrosio "the First two days of tests behind the wheel of a new car MVR-02 were very interesting and brought much benefit to me and the team. We are continuing to study the car, so it's a shame that today I was not able to go a great distance because of technical problems. But in general I am satisfied with the progress slave and already can't wait for my return behind the wheel of the following tests in Barcelona".
Nick Wirth, technical director "I am satisfied with the first tests MVR-02. We managed to collect a lot of useful information and to avoid problems such as those that pursued us a year ago. Of course, as with any new machine, not without small difficulties, but with all of them we quite quickly managed to cope. In general, the reliability of the inspires optimism. The new car is a big step forward."
Technical director of the Virgin Racing Nick Mildred believes that the team has all the components of success - with the support of the influential companies, the experience of the staff of the Manor and fast racers, now a lot depends on the competitiveness of the machine, developed by Wirth Research.
Nick Wirth "Great racers, excellent motors, now need an excellent machine, to realize this potential. We are doing everything possible. Of course, I would like to achieve success, the work of my other companies constructed so, that I should not worry about the decision of business matters, and can receive pleasure from the process of technical leadership and decision-making, which really enjoy.
Pressure, and load in the Formulanbsp1 improbable, but I am happy for our team, glad that I have such an interesting job and with optimism waiting for the results. We applied when the cost were limited to the periphery of the 45 million, then the restriction lifted, and in the first two seasons of us will be difficult to be really good, taking into account the different budgets of the opponents, but they, too, are declining - have all signed the relevant agreement".
After four years spent in the GP2 series, Lucas di Grassi, finally, got a place in Formula-1, where in 2010 it will defend the colours of the Virgin.
Finally, you racer of the Formula-1hellip
Lucas di Grassi Yes, this was preceded by great work over the past few years. Get a seat in the cockpit of the car of the Formula 1 - inspired dream. This is surprising. I spent many years in GP2, worked as test-pilot at Renault, and now I precisely know, that is ready to Formula-1, is ready to compete on equal terms with such an excellent partner for the team, as Timo Glock.
Have you ever doubted that this day would come
Lucas di Grassi I thought about that a few times missed a real opportunity. Sometimes for good reason, sometimes not.nbsp I have always worked as hard as I could, at every stage of his career, to make this day come. I always believed and never ceased to work. Now in front of me a new challenge. I will be even more motivated, will work harder, to try to fit in with the Formula-1. I want to build a long and successful career in the world championship.
Do you think the Virgin have a chance if Michael Schumacher will return next year
Lucas di Grassi I do Not think that our team has some relation to the return of Michael or not. In there are commands to build the cars of Formula 1 for 50 years. We will find it difficult to cope with them, but we will try. In the end, we will do the same job and try to do it as well. And at the moment it is impossible to say what will be our car in the next year. I know, that, probably, the Virgin will be released at a competitive level in three years, and maybe in five years, but this way should pass any new team.
Richard Branson said that he did not want to spend too much money. This doesn't scare you
Lucas di Grassi In the Formula-1 of a new era, where the quantitative will have the advantage of private teams, who want to hard budget limitations. In addition, I do not think that money and success so inseparable. We have seen some of the team, which spent a lot of money, but never achieved the results. A technical regulation is quite hard to best equalize the team at the expense of unified parts of the vehicle. I think that the difference between the best and the worst will be even less.
What do you think about the hopes for the next season
Lucas di Grassi I think that Richard knows what it is doing. He is building a long-term plans and believes in success, but remains a realist. He is very cautious about what we can achieve in the next year. It is difficult to tell you something, until you begin tests of a real car.
What convinced you to become a part of the Virgin
Lucas di Grassi first of all, the Virgin Group is a very reliable company, which came to the sport, not to do bad deeds. They came to do a good job, with the support of John Booth and Nick Wirth. The team is very well organized thanks to the knowledge and experience as John, and Nick. I know them very long, we have good relations, which, I hope, they will remain in the future.
That you can oppose to the other new teams in the next year
Lucas di Grassi This is our most important task for the next year. We should build a car from scratch, and do it promptly. Knowing Nick I'm sure he's going to ask a very high professional standards.
What is your personal goal for the next season
Lucas di Grassi I Have had many partners on the team who have succeeded in the Formula-1. There were those with whom I have fought before, as, for example, with Timo Glock in 2007. I struggled with Kubica and in the Formula-3 in 2005, with Kobayashi in the GP2, With Lewis Hamilton and in the Formula-3. And I was always on the same level, and that although they have not tried their strength in the Formula-1. If I came here four years ago, I would have no chance to have a long career, because I was not as experienced and mature. A vivid example is of Felipe Massa, who came in Formula-1 is very young, and already in a year lost his place prize of the pilot. He became a test-pilot, got a lot of experience and returned to become a top-pilot. Thus, my goal is to make a step-by-step on the path to success. It seems to me that I start. With a good position.
You need to bring with you the sponsors to get a seat in the cockpit
Lucas di Grassi No, I will not be sponsored. I myself try to bring in Formula-1 more brazilian companies, because the world cup is entering a new era. The marketing side is very important. I enlisted the support of one company, with which we will work in the next year.
That is, you will pay the salary
Lucas di Grassi Yes, I hired a Virgin.
How big is the risk to build a car without the aid of a wind tunnel
Lucas di Grassi I think that this new technology will soon become a standard in the Formula-1. All cars will be built using CFD. I find it hard to say something. I saw the model of the car, and I thought he was fantastic. I hope he will be as fast. Nick has done a very good job with the LMP1. The Car of the Formula-1 is different from him, but I am certain that there's experts will not let me down.