Virgin could prove the Manor born
When Richard Branson announced on Sunday at the British Grand Prix that his Virgin brand would not be continuing to sponsor title favourites Brawn next season, what he did not say was what it would be doing.
Branson told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I suspect next year the price will be astronomical and we may have to look somewhere else with a smaller team."
But the Mole understands things have already gone a lot further than that.
The word on the street is that Branson has already signed a deal with the new Manor team - and that the team will be named after Virgin, which apparently was one of the sticking points in negotiations with Brawn.
For Brawn, this is not brilliant news - they are still looking for the sponsorship that will allow them to compete next year.
But some will also question Virgin's wisdom in abandoning a possible deal with this year's dominant team in favour of a fledgling outfit with no track record.
Manor have been quite successful in the junior categories in recent years, but - as countless other teams have proved in the past - F1 is another matter altogether.
The team have former Simtek team boss and Benetton chief designer Nick Wirth as their technical director, but he has yet to design a competitive F1 car.
While Virgin secures its place in F1 in 2010, it appears that another major global brand name will be making its debut in the sport.
The video sharing site YouTube is said to be poised to link up with the new US F1 team, which is being set up by journalist (and former Williams team manager) Peter Windsor and former Ligier technical director Ken Anderson.
Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube, was with Windsor and Anderson in the paddock at Silverstone last weekend, and the Mole is told that the deal is pretty much locked on.
Windsor, who currently works for US channel SpeedTV and British magazine F1 Racing, is the voice you heard on the FIA television interviews with the top three drivers after qualifying and the race - or at least he was until Silverstone.
There, he was replaced by former ITV commentator James Allen, on the basis that it was not appropriate for a future team boss to be conducting interviews with drivers on behalf of the sport's governing body.