Manor Grand Prix chief John Booth on Friday would not confirm reports that Virgin is set to sponsor, buy into and possible re-name the new 2010 formula one team.

Manor Grand Prix chief John Booth on Friday would not confirm reports that Virgin is set to sponsor, buy into and possible re-name the new 2010 formula one team.

It has been reported and rumoured in recent days that Sir Richard Branson will switch his allegiance from Brawn to Manor next year, in a deal that could also involve a 20 per cent shareholding and perhaps even naming rights.

But while confirming that funding has been in place for several months, Booth is not ready to confirm the Virgin speculation, and denied that an equity sale has been agreed.

"The Virgin link is just speculation and I couldn't really comment on it for legal reasons, and it is unhelpful to speculate about Virgin," he told the Yorkshire Post.

Complicating the issue slightly is that Manor's plans were always based on the FIA's 30 or 40m pounds sterling budget cap, which has now been replaced by an agreement with FOTA whose details are unclear.

"Hopefully, it should become clearer in the next couple of weeks. There does seem an intention from all concerned to get the costs under control," Booth said.

"We have only been planning to join formula one for the last five or six months. Over the years it has not been feasible, you had to be a multi, multi-millionaire to even consider it.

"But with the budget restrictions it has made it more accessible," he added.

 

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