Virgin Racing set up McLaren partnership

Virgin Racing has agreed a long-term technical partnership with McLaren as the team strives to make its mark in Formula One.

The agreement allows Virgin access to McLaren facilities, including test rigs, driver simulator and wind tunnel, the latter especially relevant as their cars have previously been designed by computer.



The partnership will also see McLaren management and production staff embedded within Virgin, working in roles permitted by the Concorde Agreement.



To further underline their commitment to F1, the Dinnington-based team have acquired former technical partner WRT and their facilities in Banbury.



The premises will be utilised for the next two years, during which time the team will proceed with their plans to develop a tailor-made new facility.



Virgin chief executive Andy Webb said: "When we undertook our detailed review of the team in the first half of 2011, it was clear that our bold ambitions for the future would need to be matched with some equally bold steps towards achieving them.



"We are now in the fantastic position of being able to make these two very important announcements which will enable us to make some dramatic strides forward with immediate effect.



"Our technical partnership with McLaren is very exciting. We can benefit enormously from their far-reaching techniques and capabilities.



"I have no doubt this partnership will see us take the technical steps necessary to make a significant leap forwards."



McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is convinced Virgin will "derive significant benefits" from using his team's facilities.



Whitmarsh added: "During the period in which we were agreeing this deal, our experience of dealing with Andy and his team was extremely positive.



"We recognise he and his colleagues are very serious about making developments that will lift the competitiveness of their cars over the coming months and years."



Virgin have also confirmed Pat Symonds, Renault's former technical director who was involved in the 'crash-gate' scandal, will continue in his consultancy role for the foreseeable future.



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