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david. i am always surprised to see that some still believe that manor f1 was backed by virgin/branson. it wasnt! it was a guarantor for loans, in return for advertising. that is hardly backing the team, and any additional money that would have been needed would have to have been raised independently by wirth.
and also malaysia f1 were never backed by lotus group/proton, but they did give permission for their name to be used, as it would raise their profile .
so all in all, hrt were in the same position as manor and malaysia.