Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson says his new Formula 1 team should already be incredibly proud of its achievements even before its first car hits the track.
The Virgin-Cosworth VR-01 was revealed on the team's website this morning. It has been designed by Wirth Research using computational fluid dynamics rather than the more traditional wind tunnel method, and will be run by a new arm of John Booth's Manor team with title backing from Virgin. After a shakedown at Silverstone, the car will join next week's group test at Jerez – where Virgin will become the first of the new-for-2010 teams to run its car alongside its established rivals.
"What a car! Nick and his design team have done an incredible job and, so today, they deserve all of the spotlight," said Branson. "It's been fantastic to be part of this journey almost from the very beginning and to see a great engineering mind at work. I'm sure we will be measured by how fast the car is on the track in Jerez next week, but I hope that doesn't overshadow the far bigger achievement of pulling an entire racing team together and taking a brave step that defies convention."
Although Branson admitted that Virgin Racing was an unknown quantity at present, he is confident the team will prove to be a major contender given time.
"In many ways this is an exploration, but given the absolute self-belief we have seen, I can't help but feel very excited about what we can go on to achieve in the years ahead," he said. "For now, though, I'm looking forward to seeing the VR-01 on-track in testing in the coming weeks as we prepare for Virgin Racing's very first grand prix."