16 Dec 2009

Virgin aim to make a profit from F1 team

6:45 pm on 16 December 2009

Richard Branson has launched his Virgin Racing Formula One team with a plan to make money where others have burned through billions.

The British entrepreneur says the Virgion Group hasn't put a lot of money in, it's put its brand in.

The team first secured as place on the 2010 grid as Manor Grand Prix when slots were made available to new entrants earlier in the year.

The Brazilian rookie Lucas di Grassi and Germany's Timo Glock will drive for Virgin, which sponsored the champions Brawn GP this season.

Branson says they loved being the David versus Goliath with Brawn, which emerged from the ashes of departed Honda to win both titles and then be taken over by Mercedes.

He says they searched for another team and think they've come up with some brilliant engineers and drivers.

The team's car is designed by former Simtek owner Nick Wirth, using only computational fluid dynamics rather than wind tunnel testing.