Virgin Racing has undertaken a management reshuffle, with John Booth (left) taking over from Alex Tai as its team principal with immediate effect.
Less than one month after Tai was revealed as the team boss of the new outfit at its official launch in London, Virgin Racing revealed on Tuesday that he was moving on to fresh projects. He will be replaced with the highly respected Booth, who originally headed the operation when it was operating as Manor Grand Prix and was previously sporting director at Virgin
Speaking about the reasons for his decision, Tai explained: "Finding new opportunities and the challenge of starting new ventures is where my focus and interest lies. I am proud that we have taken the team from concept to reality in a short period of time and I am confident that Virgin Racing will be in trusted and experienced hands."
Virgin Racing's chairman Etienne de Villiers said, "John's impressive racing pedigree and reputation is beyond question in the critical role of team principal. John will be joined by Graeme Lowdon as CEO, who previously held the position of director of racing. He was one of the founders of the original Manor Grand Prix team and a key architect of its successful formation last year. Graeme has a proven track record with Manor Grand Prix and is a formidable operator with an excellent reputation in the sport. Their combined experience and expertise make them the ideal candidates to lead the Virgin Racing team as we head into an exciting first season."
He added: "These appointments reflect our long-term commitment to fully addressing the complexity and challenges of the new business and to creating a team with the appropriate skills and experience to ensure its sustainable success. We knew this day was coming but we are still sorry to see Alex move on from his executive duties. He will continue in his role as director of special projects for Virgin and will retain a close relationship with the team. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Alex for his support, energy and commitment from the outset and we look forward to his continued contribution to the business."
Virgin Racing has signed Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock for its debut campaign, with its car expected to hit the track for the first time at the second official pre-season test.