Well, it took long enough to get to see the thing – the planned online launch didn’t happen, and even after the unveiling, pictures have (at the time of writing) yet to appear on the team’s site, leading to the suggestion that they may have lost their FTP password! – so you can insert your own jokes about the timeliness of Virgin Trains here, but we’ve finally been granted a look at the VR-01, and it’s a beaut:
Adorning a chassis that’s quite conservative by (so-far) 2010 standards, it’s nevertheless a lovely-looking livery. The engine cover layout calls to mind the ill-fated Midland team, with the side of the nose reminiscent of a mid-2000s Minardi; and the combination of red and black is basically exactly what you’d have expected from the team from day one. But nevertheless, it’s all come out rather classy-looking. Not sure what that grey pattern at the rear (also in red on the uniform legs) is all about, mind; but it’s also nice to see a new car that’s actually got a fair few sponsors on it (although it seems strange that a brand new team, even with Branson behind them, can attract sponsors where the likes of Renault and Sauber can’t). Still not entirely convinced about the team’s ability to compete this season – but the car’s there, it looks good, and it’s got a number 24 on it (which is pleasing for those of us looking forward to there being more than ten teams on the grid!) Top stuff. Just sort your website out next time, boys!