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Virgin to sponsor Brawn?

NEWS STORY
26/03/2009

The Times claims that Richard Branson's Virgin Group, previously linked with a buy-out of the Honda F1 Team, is to sponsor Brawn GP.

The British newspaper claims that the "multi-million pound deal" will be confirmed by Branson tomorrow morning. Indeed, it is claimed that Branson is flying out to Australia especially to make the announcement.

What seems like a lifetime ago, though in reality it was just a few weeks, with no sign of a serious purchaser for Honda, other than the management buy-out, Branson and his Virgin Group appeared as a late but serious prospect. However, the Englishman dashed all hopes of a deal when he said that although keen on entering F1 he would need to see serious commitment from the sport in terms of environmental issues and cost reduction, indeed, he said he needed to be able to see the sport as an "investment".

During the tests at Barcelona and Jerez, during which its car stunned rival teams with its pace, the Brawn BGP 001 ran without any sponsors logos, other than that of tyre supplier Bridgestone. Earlier today, a deal was announced with clothing company Henri Lloyd, however, Virgin is the first sign of serious sponsorship money.

While the Times claims that Virgin signage on the car will be "significant" it is not expected that the deal will extend to title sponsorship of the Brackley outfit.

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