F1 drivers are pampered little brats. Don’t blame ’em, everyone is keen on keeping them in clover because God forbid something might spoil their mood and they forget to perfom in the one hour and three quarters in their lives that really matter.
One of the big perks is a company car, of course. Which is really nice if you drive for one of the big manufacturers, like Mercedes or Ferrari. Michael likes to tool around tunnel ceilings in an SLR Gullwing and lads like Alonso get their own customised latest model Ferrari. (Although not everyone in the Ferrari team seems to get equal treatment.)
So it was a bit painful to meet Jarno Trulli in the carpark here at Sepang yesterday with his new company car. In Lotus colours, of course. But since this is Malaysia, with a Proton Badge. I was with Tony Fernandez, always unflappable. That chap has a great future ahead of him, as I said before. Tony immediately wanted to take a picture of Jarno posing proudly with his Protus, and Tony’s the team boss so the poor lad had no choice. These must be the moments when a car enthousiast wonders what’s gone wrong in life.