Find out more about our subscriptions

Virgin eyes success with lowest budget

Richard BransonRichard Branson believes Virgin Racing can make a success of Formula 1 through talent rather than its chequebook - after revealing that the team will run with the lowest budget of any in 2010.

Branson's Virgin Group unveiled its ambitious plans for next year at a launch in London on Tuesday, and its chief made it clear that it felt his company was perfectly placed to reap the benefits of a new lower-cost F1.

"F1 is trying to bring the costs down of entry," said Branson, speaking on stage. "This team will be the lowest budget team in F1.

"It will run under the 40 million a year that is set in F1, and all teams within two or three years are meant to get to that level.

"But money is not everything and we are determined to prove that through engineering prowess, great drivers and great affinity with the public we can do well.

"I think it is the only British F1 team left - so it is great to support another British team."

Virgin Racing's CEO and team principal Alex Tai saw no reason why his team's small budget would hinder its plans for the future.

"We're fully funded for next year," he explained. "We think it is right to be competing on a level playing field. We have permission that is given to us, the Virgin Brand, to do something different.

"We think it is abhorrent to be spending $400 million on building two cars. We believe it is important not to compete with the chequebook but to compete with the ingenuity that we have with Nick [Wirth], and the team spirit and experience we have with John [Booth].

"I am immensely proud of this team and we absolutely have our sights set on success. We believe that what the FIA and F1 have done in creating a level playing field is exactly the right environment for Virgin Racing to thrive in.

"Our sponsors have understood that, they are backing us to succeed and what we have now is to go out there and deliver."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Branson's flight delayed until April
Branson's charity flight may be delayed
Date set for Branson stewardess flight
Branson 'stewardess' flight for charity
Wirth says Glock a huge asset to Virgin
Fernandes accepts Branson's challenge
Q & A with Timo Glock
Q & A with Lucas di Grassi
Di Grassi: F1 drive a dream come true
Virgin aims to earn respect from rivals
Virgin promises innovative approaches
Branson: Virgin can go all the way
Virgin car set for February run
Di Grassi to partner Glock at Virgin
Di Grassi says F1 deal is done
Di Grassi closing in on Manor seat