Marussia invests in Virgin

2011 F1 season

Nikolay Fomenko with Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock

Nikolay Fomenko with Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock

Russian sports car company Marussia has acquired a “significant stake” in Virgin Racing, and the team will race as Marussia Virgin Racing in 2011.

Chief executive of Virgin Racing Graeme Lowdon said:

This is definitely a good news story for Virgin Racing and for Formula One. Marussia Motors has been a much-valued team partner throughout the 2010 season and we are delighted to introduce them formally as the significant shareholder in Virgin Racing and a major force in the team?s future. This announcement cements our place on the Formula One grid and is testimony to the hard work and dedication of every single member of our team.
Graeme Lowdon

Marussia has been a sponsor of Virgin since the team was launched at the end of last year and its logos already appear on the cars’ rear wing end plates.

Marussia owner Nikolay Fomenko said:

This is the realisation of a dream for Marussia Motors. While manufacturing, launching and marketing the Marussia B1, B2 and other concepts in Europe, we will have a Formula One team to promote these activities and demonstrate to the world that a new car manufacturer has arrived from Russia with truly international ambitions.
Nikolay Fomenko

Marussia’s first car, the B1, is due to go on sale next year. The mid-engined sports car will be joined by the B2 and other models including SUVs in the future.

Like the VR-01, the B1 is powered by a Cosworth engine. General manager of Cosworth Mark Gallagher welcomed the news, saying:

Marussia has proven to be an excellent automotive client for Cosworth and it is a significant step for them to have opted to invest in Virgin Racing and further develop their relationship with us.

We have already been working closely with Marussia over the last 12 months and are fully engaged in assisting them with their ambitions to become the first upmarket, global Russian automotive company.

Following the news that a Formula One race will be held for the first time in Russia in 2014, Marussia?s important announcement concerning Virgin Racing further illustrates the impact the sport is beginning to make across Russia, and is therefore a welcome development.
Mark Gallagher

There will be “no significant change to the team?s organisational structure” ahead of the 2011 seasson, according to a press statement.

Virgin founder Richard Branson said:

Our first year in Formula One was always going to be tough ?ǣ even more so as we were launching in the midst of a worldwide recession. Virgin is delighted to have secured a partner which shares our vision and spirit for challenging the establishment and we look forward to working together to move the team up the Formula One grid.
Richard Branson

Read more: list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams

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72 comments on Marussia invests in Virgin

  1. King Six said on 11th November 2010, 21:37

    Oh yeah, forgot that HRT stood for HISPANIA team racing. A1, it’s already A1.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th November 2010, 0:14

      Actually, Hispania is not the traditional name of Spain. Espana is the name of the country, whilst Iberia refers to the peninsula (Spain an Portugal). Hispania refers to the people themselves; people who come from Latin and South America and the Iberian Peninsula in general – really, anyone who speaks Spanish as a native language – are referred to as Hispanic. And Hispania is the name of Jose Ramon Cabarante’s umbrella company. He’s in property development and a couple of other industries, and all of his companie are a part of the Hispania Group (or Groupo Hispanai in Spanish). To me, “national” teams are teams that get directly subsidised by the national government for the express purposes of being a national team. Lotus and Force India meet this criteria; Marussia and Hispania do not.

      But with Formula 1 being so expensive, can you really blame these teams for getting government backing?

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th November 2010, 8:24

    Question that I’m hoping someone can answer: does this mean that Marussia will become a constructor, or will Virgin stay? I’m trying to solve a dispute (that I may or may not have started) on Wikipedia: namely, that because Virgin are the title sponsor and Marussia have bought into Manor Grand Prix, it means Marussia are constructor.

    • DeadManWoking said on 12th November 2010, 8:36

      Here’s a Fomenko quote from the BBC article:

      “Step by step we’ll make it a fully Russian F1 team flying the Russian flag – it means that today one of the twelve teams is Russian. We now have the controlling share of the company – no doubt about it.”

    • Verti9o said on 12th November 2010, 19:00

      I can give you a quote from Russian press. “That is, in this case politically correct words for mutually beneficial cooperation have found real meaning: the competitive environment of Formula 1 teaches workers of Marussia latest trends and technical thoughts, and the Russian company produces for the racing team a number of components. Virgin gets free parts, Marussia gets bright minds and fresh solutions.”

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