Sir Richard Branson is on his way to Melbourne to unveil his Virgin brand's sponsorship of the Brawn team for 2009, Britain's the Times newspaper reports.

Sir Richard Branson is on his way to Melbourne to unveil his Virgin brand's sponsorship of the Brawn team for 2009, Britain's the Times newspaper reports.

It is claimed a deal has been reached between the Brackley based team and the British billionaire, which according to a "senior source" will involve "extensive Virgin branding" on the BGP001 car.

The unsponsored Brawn cars in Melbourne, however, were on Thursday sporting essentially the same blank yellow and blank liveries as in winter testing.

A further indication of the eleventh-hour nature of a Virgin deal is that Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello had their official photographs taken on Thursday, sporting plain white and black overalls with no significant sponsor branding.

The Times, reporting that Bernie Ecclestone "confirmed that a deal was reached", reports that the Virgin agreement is not a title sponsorship and that the precise size of the backing is still being discussed.

Last month, Branson and Virgin reportedly considered buying the former Honda team outright.

 

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