Virgin Racing is a motor racing team that will compete in the 2010 Formula One season. They were granted entry as Manor Grand Prix on 12 June 2009, as one of four new teams selected as of November 2009. On 30 November, the FIA released a revised entry list that stated the team's name as Virgin Racing. Richard Branson's Virgin Group is the title sponsor of the team, which was launched on Tuesday 15 December 2009.
The team was formed as Manor Grand Prix as a tie-up between Manor Motorsport and Wirth Research. Initially, Virgin's Alex Tai was the Team Principal, while Graeme Lowden was the team's Director of Racing. Manor Motorsport boss John Booth was the Sporting Director, while former Simtek team owner Nick Wirth was the technical director. Less than one month after the Virgin partnership was officially launched, Tai left his position and Booth took over as team principal, with Lowden becoming the CEO. The team will use engines supplied by Cosworth. Manor Motorsport are best known as a Formula Three team, currently running in the Formula Three Euroseries, and helped launch the careers of World Champions Kimi Räikkönen and Lewis Hamilton. Car preparation and racing operations will be run from its headquarters in Dinnington, South Yorkshire, while Wirth Research will design, develop and build the cars from its base in Bicester.
- See also: 2010 Formula One season
Virgin's car for 2010, the VR-01, is the first F1 car designed entirely using CFD computer simulation technology. On 17 November 2009 it was announced by the team that former Toyota driver Timo Glock would be the team's lead driver for the 2010 season. The driver was signed for two years and has a one year extension offer as well. Long-time Brazilian GP2 regular Lucas di Grassi will join him, while fellow GP2 drivers Álvaro Parente and Luiz Razia will fulfil testing and reserve duties.The 2010 car was officially launched on their Website on 3 February 2010, before running the car at a private event at Silverstone the following two days.
Virgin purchased twenty percent of the team, as part of sponsorship arrangement. The official FIA entry list for 2010 announced on the 30th November 2009 showed that Manor GP had been entered as Virgin Racing  The team's partners for 2010 include tyre supplier Bridgestone, environmental technology company Carbon Green, shampoo brand Clear, information technology firm CSC, foreign exchange traders FxPro, clothing company Kappa, the Oxigen investment group and Russian sports car manufacturer Marussia. On 13 January 2010, reports emerged revealing that Virgin had paid an extra one and a half million pounds to Cosworth to have the CA2010 unit rebranded as a Marussia, though both Virgin Racing and Cosworth have allegedly denied the story.
On 14 December 2009, Lloyds Banking Group announced that it had invested ten million pounds in the team, reversing the recent trend of financial institutions such as ING and RBS withdrawing sponsorship. However, it remains unclear as to whether or not the Lloyds logo will appear on the cars. FxPro has also signed on as a team sponsor.
Virgin Racing | Manor GP
Formula One cars
|Richard Branson, John Booth and Nick Wirth||Corporate website||A division of the Virgin Group|
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