Virgin Racing Goes Russian for F1

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Racing team have secured their place on the Formula 1 grid thanks to Russian carmaker Marussia Motors buying what's being described as a "significant stake" in the team. The team will now be rebranded as Marussia Virgin Racing and their new car will launch shortly in Moscow. In regards to the financial security this deal provides, Virgin team boss John Booth said that "it's massive. The future was solid but this makes us secure for four years."

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Branson originally became involved with F1 in 2009 when he signed a three-year deal to sponsor a rookie team, then known as Manor Motorsport, which was soon rebranded as Virgin Racing. Russian Top Gear presenter and race car driver Nikolay Fomenko is now heading the team's partnership. He owns Marussia Motors and is looking to make a mark in F1 ahead of the Russian Grand Prix's 2014 debut in Sochi, Russia. The team has yet to finalize their drivers for the coming year, but with the help of the Russian partnership, there's an infusion of cash just waiting to be spent on the best drivers.

Names such as Vitaly Petrov of Renault have come up, so it's faire to speculate the new team is looking to hire some native born sons. An announcement is expected sometime before this Christmas.