Marussia Virgin Racing will become the second F1 team to compete under a different national flag in 2011, following confirmation that it will honour its new Russian backer by switching from a British licence.
Just a couple of weeks after Lotus Renault GP revealed that it would compete under a British licence this season, Virgin - which debuted under the Union Jack in 2010 - announced that it would don the Russian colours after the nation's foremost sportscar manufacturer lent its support to the programme.
"On Monday 7 February, we will officially announce that Marussia Virgin Racing is not just the first Russian team, but the first team with a Russian license," Marussia Motors president Nikolai Fomenko told RIA Novosti
, before somewhat optimistically adding that 'this means, for a victory, the Russian anthem will be played'.
Fomenko was named as the team's engineering director earlier this week, and 'will provide overall leadership for the team's technology programmes, covering race car development, engineering and collaboration with Marussia's road car programme'.
Timo Glock and Belgian rookie Jerome d'Ambrosio will drive for Marussia Virgin this season, and the German was on track at this week's Valencia group test, driving the 'old' VR-01 for the last time before the new MVR-02 arrives in time for the Jerez session next week. He was able to complete a total of 114 laps on day three at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, exceeding the combined total of laps achieved over the previous two days and setting a new team record by accumulating a total of 462km.