Manor Denies Virgin Speculation

Manor Grand Prix chief John Booth today insisted that the rumors surfacing in the media in recent days regarding the potential financial deal between his team and Virgin Group is simply “speculation”. However, he did mention he is not entitled to speak about it due to “legal” restraints, which makes us believes there is some truth to this story after all.

Talking to the Yorkshire Post, Booth insisted that the deal between Manor and Sir Richard Branson's company is only fictional and that everyone should wait for a few more weeks in order to find out the team's plans for the future. He also made it very clear that the Virgin rumor is not in any way helpful to his team, especially in a time when sponsorship money are a must to secure their 2010 operations.

According to the linked email authored by FIA chief stewart Alan Donnelly and made public by British newspaper The Guardian, Virgin had been in advanced talks to buy 20 percent shareholding in the team prior to FIA's announcing the official entry list for 2010.

All our funding is in place and has been for the last few months. The Virgin link is just speculation and I couldn't really comment on it for legal reasons, and it is unhelpful to speculate about Virgin,” Booth was quoted as saying by the aforementioned publication.

Hopefully, it should become clearer in the next couple of weeks. There does seem an intention from all concerned to get the costs under control. We have only been planning to join Formula One for the last five or six months. Over the years it has not been feasible, you had to be a multi, multi-millionaire to even consider it. But with the budget restrictions it has made it more accessible,” he added.

Earlier this week, Manor admitted they have put their F1 operations under doubt as a result of FIA's scrapping the budget cap from the 2010 regulations. When Booth's team first signed up for an F1 entry, the 40 million (pounds sterling) budget cap was a sine-qua-non condition for next year's championship. The recent peace between the FIA and the FOTA states that costs inside the sport are to reach the level of the early 90s in 2 years time, but excluded budget capping.
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