John Booth Replaced Alex Tai as Virgin Racing Team Principal
According to a press release issued by the Virgin Racing organization, the move was intended 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.”
Therefore, the team's owner Richard Branson decided to have someone with a little more racing pedigree backing his Formula One operations, rather than a non-experienced racing manager like Tai. However, the latter will not leave the company completely, but switch to Virgin Group as Director of Special Projects within the company, a position in which he'll find himself more comfortable in the future.
In addition to that change, it was also announced that Virgin Racing's CEO will be Graeme Lowdon, former Director of Racing within the Manor organization.
“John’s impressive racing pedigree and reputation is beyond question in the critical role of team principal.(...) 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,” said the team's chairman Etienne de Villiers.
“Finding new opportunities and the challenge of starting new ventures is where my focus and interest lies. 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,” added Tai, who will now start focusing on other projects within the Virgin Group.