Despite his world-famous Virgin brand no longer being associated with F1, Richard Branson has finally decided it is time to 'pay up' on a wager he took with fellow 2010 debutant Tony Fernandes.
With both owning airlines at the time of their entry into the world of grand prix racing – Branson with Virgin and Fernandes with AirAsia – the pair struck a deal that would result in the loser having to serve as a stewardess for his rival. With Team Lotus – as the current Caterham operation was then called – coming out on top, Branson was the one to forfeit, but appeared to have welched on the bet….. until now.
With two full seasons having passed, and both teams having changed identity even though their respective positions in the F1 pecking order have altered little, Fernandes announced that the bearded British entrepreneur had contacted him out of the blue to pick up on the deal, which had had to be postponed first time around in 2011.
"Now here is a man with honor @richardbranson who just contacted me to honor his bet," Fernandes wrote on his Twitter
feed, "He will be an airasia stewardess in may on Airasia. 2 years late but main point he hasn't forgotten."
The contact has resulted in Branson agreeing to don AirAsia colours for a flight in May 2013, with tickets for the trip again set to be auctioned off for charity.
Should the deal fall through, however, F1 pit-lane reporter Will Buxton has come up with another suggestion, replying to Fernandes' tweet by proposing that 'given Virgin Money sponsors NUFC you should make @richardbranson stand in centre circle in Air Asia dress at QPR game'.