Richard Branson is adamant Virgin will remain in F1, despite the team's atrocious start to F1 2011.

Thus far this year the South Yorkshire-based outfit has failed to progress and to date their best result is a 14th place, which Jerome D'Ambrosio notched up at the season opener in Australia.

The squad also parted company with technical director Nick Wirth earlier this month, in order to 'take greater control of its own destiny' and 'pursue an alternative technical path' [see separate story - click here].

Speaking at the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend, Branson, rubbished speculation his company might exit sooner rather than later, adding he hopes Virgin will be in it for a 'while' yet.

"I am committed. I thoroughly enjoy Virgin's involvement with the team and the sport, and hope it will be for a while," he told reporters in Montreal. "Of course this is not my team, we are effectively a sponsor, but for as long as we're helpful to Marussia and the team then we will stay involved.

"Having Virgin on the car is great for all the Virgin companies. I watched the Monaco Grand Prix a couple of weeks ago and we received great coverage, so we are still very happy. Hopefully Marussia can use the Virgin brand to start raising its profile globally, and I'm very happy to be used when I can be helpful."

Asked about Wirth's exit, Branson described it as the 'right decision': "I think when we first got involved there was talk of the FIA getting rid of wind tunnelling and getting costs right down. I think a lot of that push to get costs down seems to have gone by the wayside somewhat," he continued.

"So, I think one of the tough decisions our new chief executive has had to make is on the technical side.

"I think it was the right decision and from what he has confidentially told me he has some exciting plans ahead on that front. If something is not working it cannot carry on indefinitely."



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