KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 (Bernama) — The final race of the F1 season in Abu Dhabi saw Virgin Racing’s two race cars carrying the logo “QNet” on their sidepods after Sir Richard Branson secured a new sponsorship deal for the forthcoming season.

QNet is the flagship international direct selling subsidiary of Hong Kong based QI Group of Companies which is controlled by Malaysian businessman Datuk Vijay Eswaran.

Virgin Racing’s drivers Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi also carry the QNet logo on their overalls.

Branson and Vijay inked the new sponsorship deal before the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which saw Sebastian Vettel of the Red Bull team create Formula One history by winning the race and becoming the youngest world champion.

Branson, who heads the Virgin Group, told a Press Conference that he was extremely proud of Virgin Racing’s long-term partnership with QNet.

“We see tremendous synergies between our two companies – the Virgin Group and QI. Both are aggressively expanding our businesses. I am looking forward to working with QNet on this project and hopefully, many others.

“Vijay said to me many times that the sky is the limit. Knowing him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes into space as well. I hope QI doesn’t go into the airline business, otherwise I will have to set up VNet,” Branson said in jest during the joint press conference last week.

Vijay, who is executive chairman of the QI Group, said both companies shared a similar vision.

“We believe in being the best in everything we do. It is rare to find a man of Richard’s calibre as a partner, and we are as honoured and proud of this partnership as he is.

“I see this as the beginning of a journey between the QI Group and the Virgin Group with QNet and the Virgin Racing F1 Team kicking off the journey. On a personal note, it is rare for me to come across another individual, especially one of Richard’s stature, who has the same viewpoint on life as I do,” he said.

Also present at the sponsorship signing ceremony was Sheikh Ahmed Al Nahyan, patron of QNet in UAE, Virgin Racing CEO Graeme Lowdon, Tareq Abdul Hafez, business partner of QNet UAE, QNet Director Joachim Steffen, QNet Group Managing Director Joseph Bismark and QNet Managing Director, J.R. Mayer.

It is learnt that QI Group had originally initiated discussions to be one of the sponsors of the Lotus Racing team of Malaysia but the negotiations stalled after Lotus Racing became embroiled in a law suit.