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Virgin: We are in F1 for long haul
Virgin Racing has reiterated that it is in F1 for the long term and has dismissed recent rumors that the squad won’t be around in 2011.

Concerns about the outfit have intensified following comments made by F1 boss, Bernie Ecclestone, who said he wouldn’t be surprised if one or two of the new teams didn’t make it to the end of the season.

Virgin Team Principal John Booth reassured reporters yesterday though, ahead of this Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, that Sheffield-based outfit is okay.

“Absolutely,” he replied when asked if the stories are rubbish. “Perhaps we haven’t kept certain people informed of our position and maybe we should have done but there are no thoughts other than going forward next year.

“This time of year there are always comments from certain quarters but we are here for the long haul. Plans are well in place for next year, well advanced for next year. Our sponsorship base is very good.

“We have brought eight new sponsors to Formula One this year and we have got a solid base to go forward on.”

Booth also added that Virgin have no intention of switching engine suppliers: “We’re very happy with Cosworth. The service has been fantastic and there are absolutely no plans to change at all,” he confirmed.

As for the progress Virgin has made this year, Booth believes the team is getting better: “I think the performance is pretty much where we expected it to be. We are very much enjoying our battle with Lotus and overall to be about three to three and a half per cent off the front teams isn’t bad. I think we should be very pleased with that,” he summed-up.

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