Ever since Sir Richard Branson confirmed it will no longer partner Ross Brawn's team in Formula One – despite their fruitful financial relationship in 2009 – the rumors about Virgin Group buying into John Booth's team started to surface in the media. Although neither of the two parties admitted to the deal, the FIA was quite quick on referring to the team as Virgin Racing.
That led to the Virgin Group's issuing a statement this week, in which it clearly states that it will make an official announcement on the matter next Tuesday. However, the company refers to the potential deal with Manor F1 as the “worst kept secret in motor racing.”
“The media event to launch 'Virgin Racing' will take place at London's Louise Blouin Foundation building on Tuesday morning,” said a report from the GMM news agency.
The team has already signed one driver for their first Formula One campaign, in 2010, in the person of German driver Timo Glock. The name of their second driver for next year will likely be available to the media by Christmas, with Lucas di Grassi holding the best chances of securing that drive.
The team is also yet to announce the first details of their 2010 challenger, which they will debut on January 30 in Valencia. Until now, only Campos Grand Prix and Lotus F1 Team – from the new teams – have disclosed information on their 2010 cars, with the former actually passing the FIA crash tests recently.