Nick Wirth at the BBC Television Studio.
Nicholas John Peter Wirth
26 March 1966
Nicholas John Peter Wirth (born 26 March 1966) is an automotive engineer and the founder and owner of Wirth Research.
He is also the former owner of the Simtek Formula One team, a former aerodynamicist at March and former technical director at the Benetton, and Virgin Racing teams.
Simtek was an engineering consultancy firm and Formula One racing team. The Formula One (F1) engineering consultancy arm, Simtek Research, was founded in 1989 by Max Mosley and Nick Wirth. It originally was involved in many areas of Formula One, including wind tunnel construction and chassis building for third parties. Simtek Grand Prix, the racing team, launched in 1993 and competed in the 1994 and 1995 seasons achieving a best result of ninth place. With large debts and a lack of sponsorship money, Simtek went into voluntary liquidation in June 1995.
March Engineering was a Formula One constructor and manufacturer of customer racing cars from the United Kingdom. Although only moderately successful in Grand Prix competition, March racing cars enjoyed much better achievement in other categories of competition, including Formula Two, Formula Three, IndyCar and IMSA GTP sportscar racing.
Benetton Formula Ltd., commonly referred to simply as Benetton, was a Formula One constructor that participated from 1986 to 2001. The team was owned by the Benetton family who run a worldwide chain of clothing stores of the same name. In 2000, the team was purchased by Renault, but competed as Benetton for the 2000 and 2001 seasons. In 2002, the team became Renault F1. The Benetton Formula team was chaired by Alessandro Benetton from 1988 to 1998.
Wirth attended Sevenoaks School from 1977 to 1984 and has B.Sc(Hons) in Mechanical Engineering (First Class) from University College London and is the youngest-ever Fellow of the Royal Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Sevenoaks School is a highly selective coeducational independent school in Sevenoaks, Kent. It is the second oldest non-denominational school in the United Kingdom, dating back to 1432, only behind Oswestry (1407). Over 1,000 day pupils and boarders attend, ranging in age from 11 to 18 years. There are approximately equal numbers of boys and girls. The current acting headteacher is Theresa Homewood. During the 1960s the school was a pioneer in developing a variety of approaches to education and in community involvement, notably in attracting international students – today pupils come from over 40 countries.
The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading structure for undergraduate degrees or bachelor's degrees and integrated master's degrees in the United Kingdom. The system has been applied in other countries and regions.
University College London, which has operated under the official name of UCL since 2005, is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom. It is a member institution of the federal University of London, and is the third largest university in the United Kingdom by total enrolment, and the largest by postgraduate enrolment.
Wirth started his Formula One career as an aerodynamicist for March Engineering, responsible for all aerodynamic concepts, schematics and design of windtunnel model components for the 1988 and 1989 Leyton House March cars. In addition, he conceived and designed all components of the March active suspension system,[ citation needed ] which ran successfully in February 1989.
The 1988 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 42nd season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1988 Formula One World Championship for Drivers and the 1988 Formula One World Championship for Constructors, which were contested concurrently over a sixteen-race series that commenced on 3 April and ended on 13 November. The World Championship for Drivers was won by Ayrton Senna, and the World Championship for Constructors by McLaren-Honda. Senna and McLaren teammate Alain Prost won fifteen of the sixteen races between them; the only race neither driver won was the Italian Grand Prix, where Ferrari's Gerhard Berger took an emotional victory four weeks after the death of team founder Enzo Ferrari. McLaren's win tally has only been bettered or equalled in seasons with more than sixteen races; their Constructors' Championship tally of 199 points, more than three times that of any other constructor, was also a record until 2002.
The 1989 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 43rd season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It began on 26 March and ended on 5 November. Alain Prost won his third Drivers' Championship, and McLaren won the Constructors' Championship.
Active suspension is a type of automotive suspension that controls the vertical movement of the wheels relative to the chassis or vehicle body with an onboard system, rather than in passive suspension where the movement is being determined entirely by the road surface. Active suspensions can be generally divided into two classes: pure active suspensions, and adaptive/semi-active suspensions. While adaptive suspensions only vary shock absorber firmness to match changing road or dynamic conditions, active suspensions use some type of actuator to raise and lower the chassis independently at each wheel.
Simtek Research was founded in 1989 by Max Mosley and Nick Wirth. It originally was involved in many areas of Formula One, including wind tunnel construction and chassis building for third parties. Wirth was previously employed by March Team owner Mosley.
Max Rufus Mosley is the former president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), a non-profit association that represents the interests of motoring organisations and car users worldwide. The FIA is also the governing body for Formula One and other international motorsports.
From October 1993 to June 1995, Wirth was founder, owner, and technical director of Simtek Grand Prix, a Formula One racing team that first appeared in the 1994 Formula One season.Simtek Research provided the team with engineering and design for the cars.
The team suffered the blow of the death of Roland Ratzenberger during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix. Simtek suffered a difficult first season and eventually pulled out of Formula One during the 1995 season which forced Simtek Research into bankruptcy.
Roland Ratzenberger was an Austrian racing driver who raced in sports prototype, British Formula 3000, Japanese Formula 3000 and Formula One. He died in a crash during qualifying for the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, the same event at which three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna died the following day. As a direct result of his death, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association was reformed.
The 1994 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held on 1 May 1994 at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, located in Imola, Italy. The San Marino Grand Prix was the third race of the 1994 Formula One season.
The 1995 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 49th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1995 Formula One World Championship for Drivers and the 1995 Formula One World Championship for Constructors, which were contested concurrently over a seventeen-race series that commenced on 26 March and ended on 12 November. Michael Schumacher won his second consecutive Drivers' Championship, and Benetton-Renault won the Constructors' Championship, the first and only Constructors' title for the Benetton team.
From 1996 until 1999 Wirth was chief designer and later a board member of the Benetton Formula One team.
In 1999 Wirth founded RoboScience, creators of the RS-01 RoboDog.
In 2003 he founded Wirth Research.
In 2006 Wirth Research began working for the FIA in the Casumaro windtunnel in Italy on the split rear wing (CDG) design that the FIA proposed for the 2008 F1 season.
In 2007 Wirth Research became involved with the Acura LMP programme in the American Le Mans Series and was involved with designing the LMP1 class car for 2009 season. Wirth used computational fluid dynamics extensively to design the LMP1 class car.
In 2009 Wirth Design teamed up with John Booth of Manor Motorsport to create a car for the 2010 Formula One season. Wirth was appointed the technical director of the team. Richard Branson's company Virgin became a title sponsor and the team was renamed Virgin Racing. The car that Wirth designed for use in the 2010 season, the Virgin VR-01, is the first Formula One racing car designed entirely with computational fluid dynamics with no use of traditional wind tunnels during the design or build process.
Wirth also designed Virgin's second F1 car, the MVR-02, but its performance proved to be disappointing as it failed to close the gap to the leaders relative to the VR-01. In June 2011, Virgin announced that it had parted company with Wirth and abandoned its policy of only using CFD.
Patrick Bruce Reith "Pat" Symonds is a British motor racing engineer. He was the Chief Technical Officer at Williams Grand Prix Engineering, from 2013 until 2016 having previously worked at the Benetton, Renault and Virgin Formula One teams.
Mecachrome SAS is a precision engineering company involved in aviation, the automotive industry, motor racing and industrial engineering, but is most famous for assembling the engines designed by Renault for the Renault Formula One team.
Robert Charles Bell is the chief technical officer of the Renault Formula One team.
Nicholas Tombazis is a racing car designer who has worked in Formula One since 1992, for the Benetton, McLaren and Ferrari teams.
The Simtek S951 was a Formula One car for the 1995 season. The number 11 seat was taken by Domenico Schiattarella and the number 12 seat was taken by Jos Verstappen. The team's test driver was Hideki Noda. Noda was set to take the number 11 seat for the second half of the season, but the team folded after round five. The engine was a Ford-Cosworth EDB 3.0l V8. The team's main sponsor was MTV.
Prodrive F1 Team is the name of a proposed Formula One team to be run by Prodrive. The team was selected by the FIA in 2006 to be the 12th entry into the 2008 Formula One world championship. In November 2007, a legal challenge to the team's proposed use of customer cars led to Prodrive pulling out of the 2008 season.
The Lola T95/30 is a Formula One motor racing car which was tested by Allan McNish during 1994 and early 1995. The car, however, was not raced during any Formula One races. The car was designed as a prototype ready for Lola's arrival in Formula One. Lola, instead of racing the car in the actual season, chose instead to test the car while a search to find a big-name sponsor was carried out as money inside the project dried up. The T95/30 version could not be raced as it was made obsolete by regulation changes enforced by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), Formula One's governing body.
Wirth Research is a group of engineering companies, founded by Nicholas Wirth in 2003, specialising in research, development, design and manufacture for the motor racing industry and other high technology sectors.
Virgin Racing was a Formula One racing team which was under management of Manor Motorsport, Wirth Research and Richard Branson's Virgin Group which competed in Formula One in 2010 and 2011. It scored no points and finished last in the Constructor's Championship for the two years the team competed.
The Virgin VR-01 was a Formula One motor racing car designed by Nick Wirth for Virgin Racing in the 2010 season. It was driven by former Toyota driver Timo Glock and Brazilian ex-GP2 driver Lucas di Grassi. The car was the first Formula One racing car designed entirely with computational fluid dynamics. The car was due to be launched online through the official team website on 3 February 2010, but technical issues prevented the live internet broadcast from taking place.
OAK Racing is an endurance racing team specialising in sports prototypes based in Le Mans, France. In 2013 it won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in LMP2 class and the 2013 FIA WEC World Champion drivers and teams on LMP2 class.
The Virgin MVR-02 is a Formula One racing car designed by Wirth Research for Marussia Virgin Racing, and used by them during the 2011 Formula One season. Like its predecessor, the Virgin VR-01, the MVR-02 was designed entirely with computational fluid dynamics, with Nick Wirth's design studio doubling their CFD capacity ahead of the 2011 season. The addition of the "M" in the car's chassis designation reflected the team's new owner, Russian sports car manufacturer Marussia Motors. The car was unveiled in London on 7 February 2011, and was driven during the racing season by returning driver Timo Glock and debutant Jérôme d'Ambrosio.
The Marussia MR02 is a Formula One racing car designed under the leadership of Marussia's Technical Director Pat Symonds. It made its competitive debut in the 2013 Formula One season where it was driven by debutant drivers Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi, who replaced Luiz Razia, the team's original choice for the seat. The car was launched at the Circuito de Jerez on 5 February, making the MR02 the first car that Marussia has completed in time to start winter testing.
The 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship season was the third season of the FIA World Endurance Championship auto racing series, co-organized by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO). The series was open to Le Mans Prototypes and grand tourer-style racing cars from four ACO categories. World Championship titles were awarded for Le Mans Prototypes drivers and for LMP1 manufacturers, and several World Endurance Cups and Endurance Trophies were also awarded. The eight race series began in April at the Silverstone Circuit and concluded in November at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
Andrew Thorby is a British racecar designer. Thorby designed many formula racing and Le Mans Prototype cars.
Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited, trading as Manor Racing MRT, was a British Formula One racing team and constructor based in Banbury, Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. The team originally started racing in 2010 under the "Virgin Racing" name; the following year Virgin adopted Marussia as a title sponsor becoming "Marussia Virgin Racing" until being fully rebranded as the "Marussia F1 Team" for 2012.