Virgin boss Richard Branson has used the launch of the new Virgin Racing F1 team to launch a cheeky challenge to aviation rival Tony Fernandes – the boss of the Lotus F1 team that will also join the grid in 2010.
Fernandes, who also runs AirAsia and worked for Virgin Records back in the 1980s, was quoted as telling the news agency Reuters
in a recent interview that the main aim for the Malaysian-owned Lotus outfit was to 'be ahead of Branson' or he would 'retire and kill myself'.
Tuesday's launch of the Virgin F1 programme provided Branson with the chance to respond, and he was able to come up with a less severe wager for the pair for the year ahead.
“Having come from the music background, I suppose we might be able to choose the music for the funeral,” he joked to Reuters
. “But I like Tony a lot so I hope he doesn't have to kill himself.
"Obviously we would like to beat him. Maybe we can think of another challenge. He has an airline, we have an airline and if we beat him he can come and work on our airline as a Virgin stewardess.
"We will make sure that the stewardess outfit is perfect. I suspect that he might ask us to reciprocate. I'll have to check how fetching his stewardess outfits are but I'd be game to do it while totally confident of winning."