McLaren deal to help Virgin next season

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MARUSSIA Virgin Racing sporting director Graeme Lowdon says the benefits of the long-term technical partnership with McLaren will not be felt until next season.

A month ago, Virgin confirmed they had agreed a technical tie-up with McLaren, one of the powerhouses of Formula One, allowing them access to facilities such as test rigs, driver simulator and wind tunnel. The Dinnington-based team hope the deal will push them closer to the midfield pack.

Asked when he expects results to change on track, he said: “It’s going to be more the 2012 car than anything else.

“Everyone wants to see immediate improvement, but in reality it’s going to be more next year.

“What this deal should do is compress timescales. Obviously McLaren can’t design anything for us, and we can’t take any components. The rules prevent that

“This is about the transfer of knowledge of processes so we can speed up how quickly our engineers can come up with designs and implement them on the track.

“We’re already using certain processes and have learned certain things which we feel will help us this year, but we’re looking at more next year for improvement.”