Branson set for air hostess role on Lotus Racing boss's airline
It's hard to imagine a place on earth with a greater concentration of inflated male egos than the pit lane of a Formula One race.
If the simmering macho rivalry of the drivers weren't enough to contend with, the sport also has a handful of billionaire tycoons keen to outmatch one another both on and off the track.
In this kind of environment it's hardly surprising that a wager or two is made, and that's exactly how Richard Branson has found himself being measured for a flight attendant's uniform in the colours of Tony Fernandes's AirAsia carrier at the final race in Abu Dhabi.
The team bosses had backed their respective teams (Virgin and Lotus Racing) to triumph over the other in the constructors standings by the close of the F1 season – the loser would be forced to play hostess on their rival's airline.
Branson now lies at the mercy of Fernandes, who told Autosport last week that he would be auctioning off tickets for the lucky few who'd like to have the bearded entrepreneur waiting on them in front of the world's press.
The head honcho at Virgin is going to have to work hard, too. "It is going to be a London to Kuala Lumpur flight," Fernandes said. "We haven't fixed a date but I was well prepared this weekend. We had a badge made for him that reads 'Richard Branson, Flight Attendant'. And a uniform."
If that wasn't enough for the British billionaire to wish he'd just bet hard cash, the AirAsia CEO added: "Many years ago Richard Branson employed me and I was working for him, so I shall look forward to him sucking up to me as a stewardess - with shaved legs!"