Russian Sports Car Maker Invests In Virgin F1

The Virgin Racing F1 team have sold a 'significant stake' to Russian sports car maker Marussia, securing the team's spot on the grid until 2014.

The team will be re-branded as Marussia Virgin Racing in 2011. "It's massive," said Virgin team boss John Booth. "The future was solid but this makes us secure for four years."

Branson was equally upbeat about the news. "Virgin is delighted to have secured a partner which shares our vision and spirit for challenging the establishment."

The involvement of Marussia - whose boss Nikolay Fomenko who is a former racer and presenter on the Russian version of Top Gear - has inevitably sparked speculation that a Russian driver will be dropped into one of the Marussia virgin seats for 2011.

After all, Virgin hasn't yet confirmed its drivers for next year, and Vitaly Petrov's future with Renault is uncertain.

Whatever the eventual driver line-up, Virgin will no doubt be hoping to put the bad memories of its debut season behind it - it started the 2010 season with a fuel tank that was too small to last an entire race, and has subsequently been dogged by reliability issues.

The other 2010 rookies, meanwhile, are also looking to improve on 2010 - Hispania Racing has secured new financial backing and is rumoured to be running a Williams gearbox next year, while Lotus has secured a deal to use Renault engines for 2011, along with a Red Bull gearbox and hydraulics.

Pics: Haja Rasambainarivo/Morio

Comments (27) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Streetrod 11 Nov 2010

    I dont see this going well

  • Insight 11 Nov 2010

    Why aren't the car's all red with the Virgin logo? Yes I know Ferrari is red but these Virgin ones with their black and red look like an old pair of Richard Branson's pants. Probably just as smelly too.

  • Riggers 11 Nov 2010

    Streetrod said:
    I don't see this going well
    Reminds me of the last time there was Russian involvement in Midland F1:

    heck, the cars even looked similar. And that was with the remnants of Jordan - Manor Motorsport (AKA Virgin F1) don't even have that level of experience.

    Having said all that I wish Marussia Virgin the best - the grid would be less interesting without these new teams.

  • NotNormal 11 Nov 2010

    So will this end up going down the same route as TVR then whistle

  • mchammer89 11 Nov 2010

    I'm not surprised that we've just had a Lada negative comments so far...

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