Several F1 drivers have joined a roster of WRC stars in pledging their support for a charitable t-shirt campaign in memory of former World Rally champion Richard Burns, sporting the distinctive orange number at this weekend's Indian Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button and Mark Webber have all been photographed wearing the commemorative 'Paint It Orange' t-shirt designed to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Burns' world title, a milestone that will be reached during the forthcoming Wales Rally GB. Four short years after reaching one of the pinnacles of international motor racing, Burns lost his life to an aggressive form of brain cancer.
By wearing and autographing the bright orange shirts, the drivers are helping to spread a viral campaign to encourage as many spectators as possible to buy and wear the limited edition item and create a sea of orange in Wales in November. The autographed shirts will be auctioned for charity alongside a growing catalogue of unique motorsport items on Saturday night of Wales Rally GB. All funds raised from the campaign will help to address the startling lack of neurological provision in the UK, despite neurological injury and illness being a bigger cause of serious disability in the UK than cancer, heart disease and diabetes put together.
The roll call of stars who have given their support for the campaign in the past week now extends from Sebastian Loeb and his cohort of WRC rivals, including Mikko Hirvonen, Dani Sordo, Sebastian Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala, Kris Meeke, Ken Block, Matthew Wilson, Mads Østberg, Henning Solberg and Hayden Paddon, right across the F1 paddock , with the likes of Rubens Barrichello, Nico Rosberg, Heikki Kovalainen and Paul di Resta joining the majority of the grid in lending their support to the cause.
“Motor racing has endured a tough couple of weeks and the contribution of F1 drivers to help support the Richard Burns Foundation is a great example of the sport coming together to give something back,” Pirelli's Paul Hembery, an RBF trustee who helped orchestrate the F1 drivers' shoot, said.
As the official charity of the Wales Rally GB, a select number of t-shirts signed and endorsed by WRC and F1 drivers - along with other 'money can't buy' lots - will be released for auction at a specially convened event on Saturday 12 November in Cardiff.