Virgin to go full throttle for cash

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MARUSSIA Virgin Racing president Graeme Lowdon is challenging the Formula One rookies to clinch 10th place in the constructors’ championship.

Dinnington-based Virgin are vying with fellow newcomers Team Lotus and Hispania for the $25 million prize money on offer to the team who end up 10th in the constructors’ championship over a three-year period.

“We have got to keep pushing for that,” Lowdon said. “We want to finish as high as we can for competitive and financial reasons.”

With a planned car performance upgrade unlikely to be introduced before the Singapore Grand Prix in September, Virgin are hoping the weather gods shine on them in Germany this weekend to boost the minnows chances of finishing high up on the grid.

Lowdon added: “We have to do our bit and make sure that if circumstances do go our way that we are in a position to capitalise.

“We have not planned on getting the prize money but it would certainly be welcome if we got it and would help the team move forward.”

Earlier this week, Virgin headed to the Nurburgring circuit, which marks the halfway stage in the season.

It was in Nurburgring where McLaren and British driver Lewis Hamilton had his first major accident in F1 four years ago, a 175mph smash in qualifying, and also of Mark Webber’s first victory in 2009.

Last year, it was staged in Hockenheim.