I thought I would throw this poll open as it was great fun when we did that last time. You guys didn’t disappoint.
Sandro was the top answer, the obvious choice really, I suppose. I do love the options, although I’m not sure Mr C has a super-licence at the moment.
Also, I’m quite intrigued by Mason’s cousin. Would that make him Uncle Mortimer’s son, and what kind of family dynamic would happen if he tried to move up to a new formula? Or is there another secret Mortimer brother, and does he bear any grudge to the sport? Interesting. All that is for another time, though.
Mitch stood to one side, arms folded, as Sandro lowered himself into the car. The test driver made some final adjustments to his helmet, then pulled his gloves on. As the mechanics leaned in to tighten his belts, Mitch strode out of the garage and straight towards the pit wall. He hopped up on a seat, pulled on some headphones, and settled back to watch the session go on without him.
It wasn’t as bad as he’d thought. Pierre ran him through a lot of the data in realtime, which made it far more interesting than studying it during the post-session debriefs. Mitch listened in as Pierre gave Sandro instructions, and watched the results appear in front of him, both via the world feed cameras, and the telemetry printing out on screen.
The only irritant was the cameras approaching him to see his reaction throughout the 90 minute session. At first, he offered a half-smile, but after the third appearance from the crew, he visibly rolled his eyes, and pulled his baseball cap further over his eyes.
Mason yanked his helmet off, brushing at his hair to smooth it down. “Hot out there today,” he said, to no-one in particular. He placed his helmet and gloves on a nearby shelf, and made his way through the garage. Mitch was leaning against a partition, arms still folded, moodily.
“What’s it like, then?” Mason said. “Watching from afar?”
“Same as last year.”
“Did you miss it?”
“With every bone in my body,” Mitch sighed.
“Sandro is pretty good, and he’s really keen too.”
“I wonder what kind of a teammate he would make. He knows how we work already.”
Mitch rolled his eyes. “Look, Mason, I’m sorry I took it out on you.”
Mason shrugged. “We already established you’re just a sore loser.”
“I’m not a sore loser,” Mitch said, through gritted teeth. “I’m sore because I was robbed. And because I crashed. And because it hurt!”
“And you’re still not over it,” Mason shook his head. “Gotta move on Mitch. Too many highs and lows in this game to let them keep on affecting you.”
“Buck up,” Mason started to walk away, heading for the paddock and the motorhome. “Plenty of incidents ahead of you yet.”
“You’re gonna let me race, then?”
Mason turned, continuing to walk backwards. “Not up to me, is it?” he smiled. “But don’t worry, if you can’t, Sandro will take good care of your car for you.”
He laughed, then had to turn away as he’d bumped into a passing journalist.
“You need to try harder,” Melissa said, appearing out of nowhere and cuffing Mitch round the back of his head.
“Ow,” Mitch ducked. “That’s right, hit me there the day I’m expecting test results on my head injury!”
“You’re fine,” Melissa said, straightening up his hair as an apology.
“What have I done wrong this time, anyway?”
“Those camera crews could see how frustrated you were. A little thumbs up every now and then wouldn’t hurt.”
“Liss, I know you are in charge of making the team look good, but ever since we took you on, you’ve done nothing but gripe at me. I’m having a bit of a bad day as it is, can we have less of the lecturing?”
Melissa thought about it for a moment. “Maybe. You apologised to Mason though?”
“In a fashion.”
“And you’re seeing the doctor next?”
“And you’re going to come straight out and tell me what he says, right?”
“I’ll hit you again,” Melissa warned, but she gave Mitch a reassuring hug as he stood up.
Dr. Burdenski shook Mitch’s hand as he walked in. “Good to see you again, John,” he said, before gesturing for Mitch to take a seat. “How are you feeling?”
“Fine. Good. Perfect,” Mitch couldn’t help but feel nervous. “Did the results arrive?”
“They did. I would like to apologise again for the delay in, well, everything. You know how it is.” Dr. Budenski offered a wry smile.
“I know exactly how it is. The results? Can I race?”
“Everything has come out clear, which is good news. I must say I am still slightly concerned about the possibility of a second accident…”
Mitch hastily interrupted, “Did you talk to Mason today?”
Dr. Budenski looked slightly startled. “I did.”
“What did he tell you?”
“The patient confidentiality thing still exists, even in a racing team, you know?”
“No, what did he say about me?”
“Whatever he said, I am fine to race. I haven’t had a headache for days, you said yourself the tests are clear, you can’t stop me from going out there.”
Dr. Budenski chuckled slightly at Mitch’s ardour. “Technically I can, John, but the question is, will I?”