Dec.2 (GMM) Official confirmation of Virgin’s takeover of the new formula one team Manor is expected imminently.
The FIA reinforced one of F1’s worst-kept secrets this week when it was revealed that Manor would be called ‘Virgin Racing’ in 2010.
Another major hint about the heavy involvement of billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s in the plans is that Alex Tai, a high-ranking Virgin executive, is the only name associated with the Manor team on the executive committee of the F1 teams’ alliance FOTA.
It is expected that Tai, rather than Manor boss John Booth, will be Virgin Racing’s team principal.
Also interesting is that, for $280 million, Virgin has sold 32 per cent of its new space programme Virgin Galactic to AABAR, the new part-owner with Mercedes of the Brawn team.
Alex Tai’s latest post at Virgin was in charge of the space flights arm.