As the 2010 Formula 1 season was about start in Bahrain the team principals of the new Lotus Racing and Virgin Racing teams – both airline owners – upped the stakes further: whoever’s team were behind at the end of the season would have to work on the others’ airline for one day, in full stewardess uniform.
The constructors’ championship table after Abu Dhabi reveals that Lotus Racing finished the season tenth, ahead of Virgin, and so Richard Branson is now preparing for his inaugural flight as an AirAsia stewardess.
During the celebrations on Sunday night, Tony Fernandes, the Lotus team principal, gave Branson his uniform, and pinned a stewardesses badge on the Virgin boss.
“There has been a fantastic spirit of competition between us and Virgin Racing all season and one of the first people to come and congratulate us on the pitwall was Richard,” said Fernandes. “We have had this great bet running all season and now it's time for Richard to start preparing himself for some hard work and the likely pain of a pair of high heels!
“We agreed last night that we will run an online charity auction for the seats on our Kuala Lumpur / London route to raise money for a charity of Richard's choice and give fans of both teams the chance to be on the flight. The date of the flight will be announced very soon and the aim is to raise as much money as we can for a good cause so the discomfort Richard will go through is worth as much as it possibly can be!”