Virgin Racing has announced that John Booth has been appointed as team principal for F1 2010 replacing Alex Tai.

The change, as reported on yesterday [see separate story - click here], was made official last night.

"As part of the planned evolution of the team and continued development of the business, Alex has handed on the role of CEO and team principal of Virgin Racing to return to his passion for new ventures," read a statement from the outfit.

"Finding new opportunities and the challenge of starting new ventures is where my focus and interest lies," Tai explained. "I am proud that we have taken the team from concept to reality in a short period of time and I am confident that Virgin Racing will be in trusted and experienced hands."

Booth, who was previously the team's sporting director, will take up his new role with immediate effect.

"John's impressive racing pedigree and reputation is beyond question in the critical role of team principal," explained Etienne de Villiers, chairman of Virgin Racing. "John will be joined by Graeme Lowdon as CEO who previously held the position of director of Racing. He was one of the founders of the original Manor Grand Prix team and a key architect of its successful formation last year.

"Graeme has a proven track record with Manor Grand Prix and is a formidable operator with an excellent reputation in the sport. Their combined experience and expertise make them the ideal candidates to lead the Virgin Racing team as we head into an exciting first season.

"These appointments reflect our long-term commitment to fully addressing the complexity and challenges of the new business and to creating a team with the appropriate skills and experience to ensure its sustainable success.

"We knew this day was coming but we are still sorry to see Alex move on from his executive duties. He will continue in his role as Director of Special Projects for Virgin and will retain a close relationship with the team.

"We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Alex for his support, energy and commitment from the outset and we look forward to his continued contribution to the business."

Virgin Racing - previously Manor Grand Prix - is one of four new teams due to compete in F1 2010, along with Lotus F1 Racing, Campos Meta 1 and the USF1 team.