September 14, 2010

The Zsolt Comes For Another

Pedro de la Rosa stood outside the Sauber factory, surrounded by boxes filled with the contents of his desk.  He flinched slightly as two burly security guards slammed the gates closed with a massive clang, his mind recoiling from the finality of the sound.

Turning in place, the Spaniard raised a fist in the general direction of Peter Sauber's office, which was actually located somewhere towards the back of the building and thus out of sight from the little show of defiance.  "I still intend to be in F1 for the 2011 season, you trumped-up Swiss chocolatier!  I'll show you that you just made a terrible mistake, dropping me, Pedro de la Rosa, for that unshaven German Nick Heidfeld!"

From behind him, a quiet voice hissed, "At it again, are you?"  A frisson of cold terror ran up his spine.  His small lizard hindbrain started to wail in fear, but F1 pilots laugh at fear and danger.  It still took a supreme act of will from the recently released driver to turn from the gates.  What he saw turned his legs to pudding.

"Hello, Pedro.  Long time no see."  A small man, dressed in a black firesuit with the word Minardi embroidered across the chest and holding a black race helmet, stood before the recently fired man.  "You got away from me once.  What did I say to you then, do you remember?"

"That you'd be coming for me again."

"That's right, Pedro.  That I'd be coming for you again.  And now, there you are.  And here I am."

"I'll race in F1 again."

The figure in black laughed, a sound not unlike the gates of Hell opening.  "You're 39 years old, de la Rosa, and you haven't had a full year of racing under your belt since 2002.  You only got in the points once this year, while your teammate has scored five times.  And then there's your role in the whole StepneyGate saga.  What team is going to want you as a driver after all that?  I hear USF1 is hiring.  No, Pete, you're mine now, and you won't get away from me again."  The figure in black lifted his helmet to his head, then paused for a second.  "If you're lucky though, you might get to run one of those radio-controlled cars you were so good at once."  Then the helmet was on, covering the dark face.

Coming from inside the helmet, the voice of the figure in black sounded sepulchral as he moved towards de la Rosa.  "Some of us only got one go at F1, and we had to buy our way in.  You got a second chance, Pete.  You got a second chance after testing for McLaren all those years, and you screwed it up.  You screwed up your second chance, and how?  By being slow, Petey-boy, by being slow.  And you really expect to get a third shot?"  The Zsolt pulled on his racing gloves, and from somewhere the theme music from The Exorcist began to quietly play.  "Never again, de la Rosa.  Never again." 

He slammed the visor down with the sound of a thousand garbage trucks falling off a cliff.  "I'm am definitely going to enjoy this."

Then the screaming began. 

By the time the security guards got to the gate, there was nothing to be seen.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:31 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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Man, I don't remember a case (in the paltry few years now I've been following this) where a team dumped a driver mid-season. They really must have been unhappy with his performance.

Does Heidfeld get stuck with the 10-spot charge the rest of the way? That's gonna make it hard for him to do anything.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 15, 2010 12:00 AM (+rSRq)

2 How fast people forget Cowboy Karun Chandhok, replaced by DJ DNF!  Or "Fast" Yuji Ide, though that was more a case of the FIA saying "get rid of him or we'll do it for you, before he kills someone."

Though the best example "recently" has to be that of Jacques Villeneuve, who was replaced for the Hungarian GP of 2006 by... Robert Kubica.

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 15, 2010 12:40 AM (blg68)

3 Ooh!  Just remembered another one.  American Scott Speed being replaced in 2007, also at the Hungarian Grand Prix... by some kid named Seb Vettel.

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 15, 2010 12:42 AM (blg68)


Awesome scenario!!!  Enjoyed the mention of Zsolt, if only in fantasy. 

Sorry to see old Pete go, but maybe he'll find a home in NASCAR.


Posted by: Mallory at September 15, 2010 02:02 PM (WJ2qy)

5 Steven, I think the engine count is tied to the chassis as opposed to the driver, so I believe the answer is yes, Grizzly Nick is saddled with a 10-spot grid penalty by default. 

To be honest though, I can't find anything that confirms my assumption, so we'll have to wait until after Quals at Singapore to be sure. 

Posted by: Wonderduck at September 15, 2010 11:21 PM (blg68)

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