Virgin close in on record

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UNLESS something remarkable happens, Marussia Virgin Racing will enter the Formula One record books for all the wrong reasons in Monza next month.

Although the Dinnington-based outfit achieved another two-car finish in Belgium last weekend, it meant Virgin equalled the record for most starts by a team without scoring a point. Since joining the grid a year and a half ago, John Booth’s men have started 31 races, the same as RAM did between 1983 and 1985 without accruing a single point. Hispania, who joined motor sport’s premier competition at the same time as Virgin, have started one less race having failed to qualify in Australia in the 2011 curtain-raiser.

Short on speed, it is highly unlikely the perennial backmarkers will break their points duck in Italy on September 11 unless the heavens open and there is a raft of retirements.

But, Virgin have taken giant strides forward with reliability this year. Indeed, Jérôme d’Ambrosio crossed the line in 17th position at his home grand prix, his 10th straight race finish.