Virgin Racing debuted in Formula One in 2010 after Richard Branson’s Virgin organisation were reported as bidding to by Honda Formula One Team. They went on to sponsor Brawn GP in 2009. Mercedes went on to purchase Brawn at the end of the season so Branson went on to invest 80% into Manor Grand Prix where he renamed them as Virgin Racing. They had plans to create a driver academy also. Timo Glock was announced as the teams lead driver alongside Lucas di Grassi. Their season wasn’t positive as the team didn’t manage to finish in the points. Across both drivers, the team took 15 retirements and their highest placing was 14th.
For 2011, di Grassi was replaced by Jérôme d’Ambrosio for the new season. They made minor improvements but still couldn’t make it out and into the points. They only took 7 retirements in there second and final year with their highest finish being 14th once again. Virgin made the name change to Marussia F1 Team as they handed over ownership. The team went on to race until 2015, keeping Glock for their debut year under the name.
They’ve had many drivers compete with the team in various categories. You may recognise some familar names:
– Timo Glock
– Lucas di Grassi
– Jérôme d’Ambrosio
– Sam Bird
– Alex Lynn
– José María López
– Jean-Éric Vergne
– Robin Frijns
Envision Virgin Racing debuted in the FIA Formula E Championship for the 2014 to 2015 season. They were joined by Sam Bird and Jaime Alguersuari in which Bird went on to take three podiums, of which two were wins, and placed the team 5th in the standings. Alguersuari was replaced by Fabio Leimer for the last two races in London. Same Bird returned for the 2015 to 2016 season where he was joined by Jean-Éric Vergne with Bird taking a single win and a further podium while Vergne took two podiums. Their results managed to put the team third in the standings.
Bird returned for a third year where he was joined by José María López. López was replaced by Alex Lynn for two races in New York City before he returned for Montreal. Bird took two more wins for the team and two podiums while López took two podiums for the team. The team only managed 4th in the standings. For 2017 to 2018, Bird returned with Alex Lynn but once again remained on top as he went on to take two wins and four podiums to push the team to third in the standings. For 2018 to 2019, the team made a repeat when they took 3rd again in the standings with Sam Bird. He was joined by Robin Frijns for the season where both took wins for the team and further podiums.
After Sam Bird was announced to move to Jaguar Racing, it left Robin Frijns and an empty seat. This prompted Nick Cassidy to join the team after a succesful rookie testing stint with the team. Frijns keeps his #4, whilst Cassidy picks up #37.