They both own airlines, are considerably wealthy and now find themselves involved in Formula One, each investing heavily in a team each and bringing the entrepreneurial edge to the sport. Both Tony Fernandes and Richard Branson are also known to enjoy good rivalry, and during this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix it became known that the two investors are engaging in a fun little wager during the 2010 season.
Tony Fernandes of Lotus also owns AirAsia, a Malaysian no frills airline that has proven to be successful. Next door in the Bahrain pitlane sits Richard Branson who has pumped money into the Virgin Racing team and also famously owns Virgin Atlantic, a more upmarket airline that flies all over the world. However, despite being rivals in the air and on the race track, the entrepreneurs of Formula One have taken the competition that little bit further.
Apparently the bet between the pair centres on the competitive edge of each team. According to David Croft who commentated for the BBC during this morning’s Free Practice sessions at Bahrain, whichever team finishes the 2010 season behind will have spend a day on the winner’s airline, acting as a steward and serving tea and biscuits to their customers.
Who says Formula One is just about the ruthless competition on the tarmac…?