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Virgin to reveal future at season end

Richard Branson reveals that Virgin will decide its future involvement in F1 following the end of the 2009 season
Richard Branson has revealed that his Virgin brand will decide its future involvement in F1 at the end of the 2009 season.

Virgin inked a deal to sponsor Brawn GP on the eve of the season, with Branson admitting that it had been 'beyond his wildest dreams' to see Jenson Button lead home Rubens Barrichello to a 1-2 in the season opener before the team went on to secure both F1 titles.

"I don't think in our wildest dreams we thought this would happen. I knew they had a good car, as I happened to know one of the test drivers," he told BBC Radio Five Live. "But when I got on a plane to Melbourne with some Virgin stickers in my bag, having just shaken hands and given them some money, the last thing I expected was a first and second in the championship race."

Looking towards next season, Virgin are widely believed to have already agreed a deal to sponsor the new Manor team next season, but Branson insisted that a decision would only be taken at the end of the current campaign.

“We will make a decision after Abu Dhabi, which is the final race of the season,” he told BBC Radio Five Live. “We were absolutely delighted to get involved with them [Brawn] when they didn't have any money before the Melbourne race. It enabled them to prove they had a great car and great drivers and they've obviously gone on to fantastic things.

“It was the perfect relationship. Virgin loves to support an underdog but they are now one of the most expensive teams out there and certainly not the underdogs anymore.

“We will make an announcement in the next month, but at the moment, we want to celebrate a magnificent season with the Brawn team, Jenson and Rubens Barrichello, who did fantastically also.”

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October 21, 2009 12:31 PM

Looks to me like Manor it is then. Branson is not stupid, he'll get plenty of exposure with Manor and at a fraction of the price. I applaud him for giving Brawn a leg up when they needed it. To get the same advertising space on a Brawn next year will cost squillions.


October 21, 2009 12:35 PM

They should title sponsor Manor and rename them Virgin F1, probably the only way that team will actually get onto the grid next year. Carroll and di Resta as drivers would be good too.

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