Booth’s boys ready to make their move

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FORMULA One outfit Marussia Virgin are ready to up sticks and leave their South Yorkshire roots.

Team principal and sporting director John Booth has revealed Virgin plan on moving to a new purpose-built facility by 2013 to bring the company under one roof.

Booth’s team are currently spread between their Dinnington headquarters and the Wirth Research base in Banbury.

“As soon as things start settling down over the next couple of months, we will be looking for a new home,” he said. “It will be somewhere between Dinnington and Oxford.

“It (the Dinnington operation) is not big enough for us. We will have to move because we have outgrown it.

“We are a big company now so hard decisions have to be taken.”

Booth has not ruled out a new operation being set up in South Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, the team are concentrating on the big picture ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

To move forward and progress in Formula One, Booth has conceded Virgin have to take “hard decisions” to close the gap on their rivals.

Having rectified the team’s reliability deficiencies, Booth’s objective in the long run is to improve the speed of the car.

He has written off Virgin’s hopes of reaching the second session of qualifying on Saturday, which was their target at the beginning of the year. Attentions have now turned to developing the 2012 car. Due to time constraints, he has confirmed there will be no new car performance package at the British Grand Prix this weekend.

The planned aerodynamic upgrade, which will include a new floor and new coverings on the gear box, has been pushed back to the Singapore GP on September 25.

Speaking to the press corps yesterday, Booth said: “We have to put the majority of our efforts into the 2012 car.

“If we spend an extra £10 million over the next few months and develop the MRV-02 car to the inch of its life, we would move to where Team Lotus is but there is no point in doing that.

“We have a much bigger leap to make than that so it is much better for us to put our resources into the 2012 car.”

Virgin, operating with one of the smallest budgets in motor sport’s premier competition, agreed a long-term technical partnership with McLaren on Monday. The deal grants Virgin use of selected technologies and facilities at McLaren’s factory in Surrey. Negotiations started on the arrangement last month.