Booth replaces Tai at Virgin Racing

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It has only been official since 15 December that Alex Tai was the team principal of Virgin Racing before it is today announced that he leaves the team. John Booth, the principal of the team while it was Manor is taking over again, in what's said to be a "normal evolution".

In an attempt to explain why he is leaving the team after only several weeks at the helm, Alex Tai said: "Finding new opportunities and the challenge of starting new ventures is where my focus and interest lies. I am proud that we have taken the team from concept to reality in a short period of time and I am confident that Virgin Racing will be in trusted and experienced hands."

Virgin Racing's chairman Etienne de Villiers said: "John’s impressive racing pedigree and reputation is beyond question in the critical role of team principal.

"John will be joined by Graeme Lowdon as CEO who previously held the position of Director of Racing. He was one of the founders of the original Manor Grand Prix team and a key architect of its successful formation last year.

"Graeme has a proven track record with Manor Grand Prix and is a formidable operator with an excellent reputation in the sport. Their combined experience and expertise make them the ideal candidates to lead the Virgin Racing team as we head into an exciting first season."

He added: "These appointments reflect our long-term commitment to fully addressing the complexity and challenges of the new business and to creating a team with the appropriate skills and experience to ensure its sustainable success.

"We knew this day was coming but we are still sorry to see Alex move on from his executive duties. He will continue in his role as Director of Special Projects for Virgin and will retain a close relationship with the team. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Alex for his support, energy and commitment from the outset and we look forward to his continued contribution to the business."