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Virgin boss hits back at Ferrari comments

Virgin boss Richard Branson hits out at comments from Ferrari relating to the newcomers to F1 for the 2010 season
Sir Richard Branson has hit back at Ferrari over its criticism of the newcomers to the grid for the 2010 F1 season.

A strongly worded statement from the Scuderia last week hit out at the new teams on the grid, insisting that two – Virgin Racing and Lotus – would 'limp' into the new season, Campos Racing was being 'pushed into the ring by an invisible hand' and that 'missing persons' would need a call to locate USF1.

Paying a visit to Barcelona for the final pre-season test for the Virgin Racing team, Branson hit back at the comments, insisting it was 'sad' to see the Italian team issue the statement on what it called Max Mosley's 'holy war' and adding that Virgin would show you can compete in F1 on a budget.

"I think that it's a bit sad to see Ferrari carrying on with those kinds of words," he was quoted in The Times. "Formula One needs new teams. Ferrari already won the battle to make sure that new teams are shackled. I mean we have built a new car from scratch and are going to have exactly the same practice time as Brawn, Ferrari or any of the other teams who have had years and years and years to get it right. But we're not complaining about it – we're happy to go along with it.

“I think it was a pity that they [Ferrari] were resistant to the budget cap and I think it is foolish actually. I think the one thing the Virgin team will prove is that you can have a really good racing team, running very fast, within a very tight budget.

“We will make them look better for a year or two until we catch them up. But ultimately I think that new teams will give Ferrari a run for their money. And I think it will make the sport more exciting, particularly as budgets come down to more realistic levels."



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F1 Novice

February 28, 2010 7:54 PM

@ California Kid re your "I can't stand this guy. He bought his way in. Stefan GP is the same story. The ONLY REASON they have a shot is due to the purchase of the Toyota car. It gets me how the have this "holy" attitude regarding the matter. They are vultures". What do you think Mercedes GP have done -they've bought BrawnGP - I would have much more respect for Mercedes if they started from scratch as Lotus / Virgin have done - they are meant to be one of the best engineering companies in the world and yet all they do is buy into F1 Technology instead of doing it themselves - Chassis Built in GB (Brawn) & Engine Built in GB (Illmor) exactly what is German about MercedesGP :? :rolleyes:

Paddockman - Unregistered

February 28, 2010 8:06 PM

!00% agree with fish fingers. F1 desperately needed new blood and now we have it. When their performance is compared to that of teams with 5 to 10 times their budget plus years of experience in F1, they have done amazingly well. Ferrari know very well they could not compete with a team like Williams on the same budget. They need to keep the costs high because that's the only way they can suppress the competition. On a level playing field they would be annihilated. The two big stories for 2010 are the return of Schumacher and the arrival of brand new teams. With Luca in charge, Ferrari may entertain us with a repeat their fuel-hose and dry-track/wet-tyre fiascos, but that's about it.



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