F1 News, Views and Reviews

Virgin Racing Gets Official Launch As Di Grassi Confirmed As Driver

Virgin Racing has officially launched its new F1 programme in London today.

The team, originally known as Manor GP, will be backed heavily by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.  The British born businessman was very interested in brand exposure through F1, following a successful sponsorship year with the Brawn GP team.

The “worst kept secret” in the world as it was joked was confirmed as the team took the opportunity to show off their drivers, logo and also have a chat with the world’s media at a lavish morning in Notting Hill.

Timo Glock was confirmed as a driver some weeks ago, but Lucas Di Grassi comes to the team with a deal penned in the past few days – he tested with Renault recently at Jerez.

He comes from success in GP2.

“It feels great to be here, it’s a dream come true for me after two years of being a test driver, and from that and from GP2 I feel I’m ready and am very confident in this team,” said di Grassi.

“We’re here to race, not to do politics or mess around, we’re here to race.”

The team also confirmed their test drivers as  Alvaro Parente and Luiz Razia.

“I’m going to do my best to do a good job. It’s great to be with this team and there’s going to be a lot of success.” Parente said

The team’s sporting director John Booth said he was delighted with the line-up.

“I have 20 years’ experience working with drivers,” he said. “I have been privileged to work with some fantastic drivers in that time and I hope that’s helped in giving me an eye for a good driver.

“The four drivers we have here are the four we wanted in our line-up, they’re the perfect drivers.”

The colours of the team appear to be black with white and dashes of red.

Branson at the launch

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