Hardly got rid of Sir Swinging Dick or the phone’s ringing again. Tony Fernandes this time. He sounds harried.
“Bernie,” he says, “I’ve got Dr Mahathir on my back again. He asked me what our competitive chances were with Lotus and I made the mistake of saying that we aimed to be the best of the new four – us, Campos, Virgin and US F1. He said, what F1? US F1, did I hear you correctly? Are you saying the US are sponsoring a team as well? I said no Dr Mahathir, it’s not the country, it’s a private team. There are no country teams in F1. He says, of course there are, we are one aren’t we? I said no, technically speaking we’re not, but harm was already done. And now he’s continuously bothering me with all kinds of theories.
Latest is that the US F1 team doesn’t physically exist and they’ll just project some 3D avatars on the circuit that can easily win every race since they’re not bothered by gravity. I told him that was really science fiction but he wouldn’t have any of it. Says it’s not science fiction at all, it’s here and now. Apparently he’s gone to see Avatar with his grandchildren and now he’s all over it. ‘If they can make Avatar, they can make anything,’ he keeps saying.”
I say, that’s too bad Tony but I really don’t see how I can help. He says, Bernie, he knows you’re an authority in F1, give me some incontrovertible proof that the US F1 team exists, like tell me where their car is, do they have a factory, or at least tell me where I can find their offices? He won’t let go, he’s driving me crazy!
I tell him I’m truly sorry but he and I unfortunately have exactly the same problem. Last time I challenged their team boss Peter Windsor in public about this, you know what he did? Unveiled the US F1 website! A frigging website! And now you’re asking me whether they’re real or not? I’ll tell you the answer when I’ve seen a car with their logo on it making laps on a circuit, and not a minute sooner. Sorry Tony, no can do.
Poor sod. I feel for him.