Shortly before Saturday morning practice, Sir Richard Branson announced the Virgin brand's "substantial sponsorship" of the Brawn team.

Shortly before Saturday morning practice, Sir Richard Branson announced the Virgin brand's "substantial sponsorship" of the Brawn team.

The flamboyant British billionaire had cut short a skiing holiday to fly to Melbourne for the announcement.

He admitted that the BGP001 car's blank livery is to be mainly unchanged at Albert Park, but said the single seater is "unlikely to stay white" once the cars can be branded to reflect his investment.

There will be some Virgin branding on the car for qualifying and the race, however.

"We did this deal four hours before I got on a flight to come here, so unfortunately I was unable to get enough paint on-board," he joked to reporters at the circuit after the announcement.

Branson said the deal had cost Virgin less than it would have prior to the global recession.

He also told reporters he hopes formula one will begin using fully clean fuels within 12 months.

 

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