Russian car maker takes stake in Virgin

Virgin Racing has secured its long-term future after selling a major shareholding to Russian sportscar manufacturer Marussia Motors

Russian car maker takes stake in Virgin

The team will become known as Marussia Virgin Racing, with the company already having been a partner of the team since its launch in 2009.

Virgin says the deal will not result in any significant changes to the its organisational structure.

"Our first year in Formula 1 was always going to be tough - even more so as we were launching in the midst of a worldwide recession," said Virgin chief Richard Branson.

"Virgin is delighted to have secured a partner which shares our vision and spirit for challenging the establishment and we look forward to working together to move the team up the F1 grid."

Virgin Racing team principal John Booth says the deal with Marussia is important for the outfit, as it has provided it with a solid financial platform to go forward.

"It is massive," he explained. "We had security anyway, but it allows us to be a bit more ambitious in our planning. On the technical side there are lots of exciting things happening. It won't happen immediately but it will happen as the year goes on."

Graeme Lowdon, CEO of Virgin Racing, said: "This announcement cements our place on the F1 grid and is testimony to the hard work and dedication of every single member of our team."

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