F1 »

Fernandes expects shaven Branson should Lotus beat Virgin

Tony Fernandes has turned up the heat on rival Richard Branson as their off-track bet reaches its climax in Abu Dhabi.
Whilst Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton go head-to-head for the biggest prize in motorsport, another equally tense battle will play out at the back of the field with potentially even more on the line for those involved.

Whilst Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen, in one corner, and Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi, in the other, have nothing personal riding on the result of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, their respective team owners know that fate could transform their fortunes at a stroke on Sunday afternoon.

Rival airline bosses Tony Fernandes and Richard Branson entered into a good-natured wager at the start of the season in which the loser - based on the respective championship positions of the Lotus and Virgin teams - would have to don the outfit worn by the other's stewardesses and work a long-haul route. As things stand with one race to run, Branson is facing the embarrassment of having to wear AirAsia colours unless either Glock or di Grassi can better the twelfth place achieved by Kovalainen in Japan.

Fernandes, who has said that his rival would have to work hard on a flight from London to Kuala Lumpur, believes that Branson would secretly enjoy the moment.

"He's quite serious about it, so am I, but, if we don't mess it up, he should be donning our uniform," Fernandes told Reuters at Yas Marina, "He'll have to work the whole flight, he'll have to serve, he'll have to clean - he'll have to clean the toilets. And he has to shave his legs, as we don't allow hairy stewardesses!

"He'll have to look like one of these two girls out there, but he likes dressing up as girls - I think, deep down, he probably hoped he'd lose as it's another chance to dress up in drag!"

Branson, who told Fernandes that that he would have to work Virgin's London-Lagos route if he lost the bet, joked that he was looking for a way out of the wager - but still found a reason to celebrate even if he came off worst.

"I thought in Korea I was safe until Timo was shunted off the track, so things are not looking too hopeful, but we still have tomorrow to go," the bearded entrepreneur said, "However, if he won't let me on his plane without shaved legs, I'm not sure how we are going to conclude this deal.

"There is a rumour with Lotus that they won't have the name any more, so maybe I'll be able to review the small print of the contract. The lawyers are definitely all over it at the moment. The only positive thing is we own 20 per cent of his company, so I'll be able to get some promotion for a company I have a stake in if I lose!"




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Saturday, Sir Richard Branson (GBR), Virgin Group CEO, Tony Fernandes (MAL), Lotus F1 Team follow up their wager at the start of the season
Friday Practice 2, Sir Richard Branson (GBR) CEO of the Virgin Group
Race, Jarno Trulli (ITA), Lotus Racing, T127 and Lucas Di Grassi (BRA), Virgin Racing, VR-01
Saturday, Sir Richard Branson (GBR), Virgin Group CEO, Tony Fernandes (MAL), Lotus F1 Team follow up their wager at the start of the season
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
26.11.2016 - David Richards (GBR)
29.05.2016 - Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
29.05.2016 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director, Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Renault Sport Formula One Team Racing Director and Tony Parker (FRA) Basketball player
29.05.2016 - Alain Prost and Tony Parker (FRA) Basketball player
29.05.2016 - Tony Parker (FRA) Basketball player
28.05.2016 - Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
26.05.2016 - Free Practice 1, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
03.04.2016 - David Richards (GBR)
02.04.2016 - Qualifying, David Richards

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.