It was announced this weekend that four Virgin and Marussia chassis dating from 2010 through to 2013 are being put up for sale by a private collector.
John Pye Auctions Luxury Assets is staging what it describes as “a unique opportunity to acquire a quartet of Formula 1 world championship grand prix grid cars – all with F1 competition provenance, from the Virgin Marussia Formula 1 Team.”
The cars are available for private sale either individually or as a collection, during which time they can be viewed by appointment the company’s Premium Saleroom at Marchington, Staffs on the 1st and 2nd of February with potential buyers accommodated on a first come, first serve basis.
In an interview with the media this weekend, business development manager Giorgio Vitale stated the following about the sale as follows:-
‘This is an incredibly rare and unique opportunity to own a piece of Formula One history. Race photos show great provenance but simply do not do the cars complete justice; they have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated for their styling and engineering beauty.’
The oldest car in the set is the Virgin VR01 from 2010 which was driven that season by Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi. Designed by Nick Wirth for Virgin Racing, it was the first Formula One racing car designed entirely with computational fluid dynamics.
At the end of the 2010 season, Marussia Motors bought a stake in the team and became the main sponsor, with the team renaming itself Marussia Virgin Racing for 2011 which means that the second car in the collection is duly badged the Marussia Virgin MVR02.
Also designed by Wirth, this chassis followed the VR-01’s design principle of exclusively using computational fluid dynamics instead of the more traditional windtunnel approach. The MVR-02 was designed to be the same length as the original VR-01 chassis whilst retaining the full-size fuel tank, and did not use a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS).
For the 2011 season, Glock was joined in the squad by new team mate Jerome d’Ambrosio, and Glock remained with Marussia for a third season in 2012 when he was joined by Formula One newcomer Charles Pic.
The team’s initial chassis that season was the Marussia MR01, which held the unfortunate distinction of being the only car on the grid still lacking KERS functionality. It was also one of only three cars not to feature the stepped nose common to most of that year’s designs, the others being the McLaren MP4-27 and the HRT F112.
The most modern of the cars up for sale is the Marussia MR02 driven by Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton in 2013. Designed under the leadership of Marussia’s technical director Pat Symonds, it was the team’s first car to utilise a KERS device. The team bought a version of KERS designed by Williams F1 that was based on the system Williams itself used when they were a customer of Marussia’s engine supplier Cosworth back in 2011, when KERS was originally introduced to Formula One.
Further on in his interview with the media, Miller added the following about the cars as follows:-
‘The cars have raced through the streets of Monte Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix and across the F1 international circuit. It’s the ultimate auto sport asset provenance offering.’