‘Slow going’ for minnows

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JOHN Booth, the team principal of Marussia Virgin Racing, has warned that there will be no quick fix to their current problems.

With limited resources and one of the smallest budgets on the grid, it is no major surprise Virgin are scrapping it out at back of the grid. In an uncompetitive car, the Dinnington-based team remain a long way off challenging the midfield runners.

Booth told The Star: “It is going to be a good few weeks before we improve the pace of the car.

“We are trying to move forward but it is slow going. Everything is taking longer than we hoped it would.”

The 56-year-old admits he does not expect Virgin to be making the second session of qualifying on Saturday’s until July at the earliest. Booth, who started work aged 15 in his family’s chain of butcher shops in his native Rotherham and went on to race in single-seaters in the 1980s, added: “The team are frustrated and so am I. We work great as a team and we have fun doing it.

“Of course we want to be winning and running quicker and we are all frustrated but it has not affected the team atmosphere at all.”

But despite Virgin’s teething issues, Booth is determined to turn their fortunes around.

He has no doubt the backmarkers can hack it in Formula One, saying: “I want success in F1.

“The trouble is I’m getting a bit long in the tooth now, I don’t know how long I can wait.

“I wouldn’t want to leave F1 now having only ever been at the back and not moving anywhere. I definitely want now to go forward with the team.”

Virgin are the only team who solely rely on computers to design their car but Booth has hinted they may start using the traditional wind tunnel methods to go forward.

“The efficiency of wind tunnels over the last three or four years, since there have been restrictions on running time, has improved tenfold,” he said.

Virgin have axed technical director Nick Wirth after their poor start to the season.

CEO Andy Webb said: “The decision has been taken that the team will take greater control of its own destiny.”

Pat Symonds, who is working as a consultant for Virgin, is heading up the plans for the team’s 2012 car.