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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Di Grassi joins Glock at Virgin Racing

Di Grassi joins Glock at Virgin Racing

December 15, 2009 20:46 IST

Brazilian rookie Lucas di Grassi will partner Germany's Timo Glock when the new Virgin Racing Formula One team makes its race debut next year.

The team, originally entered as Manor Grand Prix, presented both drivers at a launch attended by Virgin owner Richard Branson, whose Virgin Group sponsored champions Brawn this season.

"We had an incredible season, we loved being the David versus Goliath," said Branson of his involvement with Brawn, who emerged from the ashes of departed Honda and won six of the first seven races.

Brawn have since been taken over by Mercedes.

"Brawn were very much the David. At the end of the season they became the Goliath," said Branson. "So we searched around for another great team and we think we have come up with some brilliant engineers and drivers.

"They are very much another David and we'll see how it goes."

Virgin, billing themselves as "a new team for a new era", will have a car designed by former Simtek owner Nick Wirth using exclusively computational fluid dynamics rather than traditional wind tunnel testing.

Manor founder John Booth will be the sporting director while Alex Tai, formerly director of special projects for the Virgin Group, will be team principal.

"I've never had any ambitions to be in Formula 1, purely because it was so out of reach," Booth said in a statement.

"The FIA in their wisdom quite rightly decided to introduce some sort of cost restriction. At the same time as making Formula One more affordable for its current competitors, it opened up our own horizons and that of other teams."

Etienne de Villiers, the former president of the men's ATP tennis tour, will be non-executive chairman.

Glock raced for Toyota last year while Di Grassi, 25, was previously a Renault reserve.


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