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Getting ahead as an F1 team is a costly affair. There's an endless stream of expenses, but even all the cash in the world doesn't buy experience and expertise.

As Red Bull Racing aptly proved this season, you don't need an automaker's backing to rise to the top of the Formula One ladder. Any consumer company with a popular image will do the trick. Virgin has been trying to follow in Red Bull's footsteps with the launch of its own F1 team, but as Richard Branson and company have discovered, it's more than most can chew. So it should come as little surprise that the upstart team has pursued – and secured – an automaker's support for next seas