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BOOTH UNABLE TO APPRECIATE MONACO

Virgin Racing team principal John Booth has revealed he has barely had time to catch his breath since pitching up in Monaco.

The principality's glamorous surroundings are a far cry from Booth's humble beginnings working in a butcher's shop run by his father in Rotherham.

But Booth and his team are now becoming an established part of the Formula One fraternity, although teething problems still abound.

Following the Spanish Grand Prix four days ago, for instance, they were the last team to erect their motorhome in the cramped confines of the Monte-Carlo paddock on Thursday alongside the harbour.

It has been a testing time for Booth and Virgin since they stepped into F1, in particular the last few days, leaving him with little time to appreciate his surroundings.

"When I stop working so hard, I'll be able to catch my breath then and look around," said Booth.

"But at the moment it's just a challenge we are facing, and we're working very hard on that, but it's still great to be here.

"The atmosphere is fantastic, but the challenges are just the same."

Booth at least had cause to smile after watching drivers Lucas di Grassi and Timo Glock set reasonable times at the end of today's two 90-minute practice sessions.

It was expected the duo, along with the other new teams in Lotus and Hispania Racing, would be six to seven seconds off the pace.

That was only the case for Hispania as Di Grassi and Glock were 3.5secs and 3.8secs behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Following on from Barcelona when Virgin managed to bring two cars home for the first time this season, Booth is hoping things are on the up.

"Barcelona was massively important for us," added Booth.

"But in terms of seeing two cars over the line, we should have had those from race one.

"It took us five races to get there, far too long, but I'm very happy we have achieved it.

"Now we need to continue the reliability here and then look at the next race in Turkey to start improving performance.

"At the moment ninety-nine per cent of our effort is on reliability but hopefully from this race we can start adding performance to it."



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