Guest Author - Christine Blachford
Recently, in the news, we learned that Renault boss Flavio Briatore has invested in British football team Queenís Park Rangers. Along with Bernie Ecclestone, heís formed a company that have taken a majority stake in the team, and all that is required now is approval by the board of the squad.
Whilst Briatore was pretty quiet about the deal, he made sure to let everyone know that his interest in Formula 1 wouldnít be diminished at all, and that he was a man capable of multi-tasking. So, I thought it would be interesting to see who else in the paddock is capable of doing more than one thing at once.
Toyota driver Jarno Trulli actually co-owns a vineyard in Italy, and they produce super-delicious wine. Well, I personally havenít tried it but Iíve heard that itís good stuff.
Mark Webber from Red Bull has a restaurant situated within a pub in the UK, but he also set up the Mark Webber Challenge and associated Foundation. This is an annual event which sees Mark and others take part in outdoor pursuits (including kayaking and hiking) to raise money for Markís favourite charities. The Challenge takes place in, and raises awareness about, the outstanding beauty of Tasmania.
A lot of the drivers, especially the ones who have more experience in the sport, and probably more money from their years, have set up charities. Rubens Barrichello, of Honda, has invested in the Barrichello Kanaan Institute, which is determined to bring back Family Values where they are most needed. Rescuing vulnerable families and keeping them together is a major part of the Instituteís objectives along with promoting social developments.
F1ís oldest driver, David Coulthard, teamed up with merchandisers Pole Position to create the fragrance of the same name. Iím not entirely sure whether Coulthard had any say in what went into the scent, but his name is splashed all over the product. Thereís also a shaving foam and moisturising balm to go along with the spray.
Coulthard has also recently released his autobiography It Is What It Is, which hit the news with details of the drivers pre-F1 bulimia battles. Plenty of books appear about Formula 1 drivers, Schumacher, Senna, all the greats have biographies about them. Even Lewis Hamilton has a story so far tale to be told. But there are few actual autobiographies written by the person that knows the driver best Ė himself.
Whether itís charity work, other sports or product endorsements, those F1 drivers certainly like to keep themselves busy.