You'd figure that after winning grands prix and driving the fastest cars on the planet, an accomplished F1 driver would have had his fill of extreme Gs and rapid acceleration, but these are speed junkies, and they're always looking for a new adventure. That could be why two seasoned F1 pros are lining up, among the myriad celebrities and billionaires, to experience a low-orbit space flight with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic.
Sponsoring the winning Brawn GP car at this past weekend's race in Bahrain, Virgin Galactic announced their two latest recruits: Rubens Barrichello and Niki Lauda. Barrichello, who is second in the standings for the F1 world championship this year, has already paid the $200,000 for his ticket on one of Virgin's space flights, which Branson delivered in person at the race. Three-time world champion Niki Lauda, however, is planning to take it even further by undertaking training, at age 60, to pilot the Virgin spacecraft and take other paying tourists up into space. Lauda already owns his own airline and sometimes pilots the flights himself, but even for the driver who's been to hell and back, this should be a new adventure altogether.