[QODLink]
Sport
Virgin 'will be F1 low-spenders'
Branson vows small budget as Timo Glock and Lucas Di Grassi unveiled by new team.
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2009 12:34 GMT

Gunning for glory: Glock [GALLO/GETTY]
Virgin Racing has been unveiled as the latest new Formula One team on the grid – with owner Richard Branson vowing a budget of less than $65 million.

Branson, who backed the victorious Brawn GP team last year, said he would head the smallest spenders in Grand Prix as he aimed to build a winning name from scratch.

The now-departed Toyota alone were estimated to have spent $418.5 million in 2006.

Former test driver Lucas Di Grassi becomes the newest driver in F1 after joining Timo Glock at the unveiling in London on Tuesday.

Virgin, which has secured the title sponsorship of the Manor team, joins four other new outfits on the grid for the 2010 season – Lotus, USF1, Campos and Sauber.

German Glock, the former Toyota driver, had already announced he was joining the team, but official confirmation of Di Grassi's F1 debut was made at the London launch.

"Timo and I are here together to build a team," said Brazilian Di Grassi, who has spent two seasons in GP2 and as a test and reserve driver with Renault.

"We're not working as separate individuals, but as a whole group, working as hard as we can to push the team forward."

Using the slogan 'A new team for a new era', Virgin aims to challenge on the newly expanded 13-team grid with a budget below the optional cap of $65 million.

David and Goliath

"Last year with Brawn they started the season as a David and it ended it as a Goliath," Branson said after arriving on stage a dozen with electric guitarists creating a sound akin to a Formula One engine.

"So we searched around for another great team, another David team, we have one and we will see how it goes.

"The new era is seeing the costs of entry come down.

"This team will be the lowest-budget team in Formula One. It will run under the 40 million pounds per year that was being set by Formula One."

On Monday, the private equity arm of Britain's part state-owned Lloyds Banking Group announced it had bought a stake in the team reportedly worth about $16.2 million.

"Money's not everything," Branson said.

"They are determined to prove that via engineering prowess, great drivers and a great affinity with the public they can do well."

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
join our mailing list