I said, don’t you need to be in the pit garage right now? He says yes, but we still have that German caterer, you know, the Soup Nazi? Tried to get rid of him for a long time now but the problem is, he’s Mercedes approved. Had to file a request through Norbert, all the way up the line. I believe it’s about to go before the Daimler Board now.
And I tell you, Bernie, it’s not contributing to team morale. Things are so tense, you could cut slices off the atmosphere on days like this. Michael’s seconds off the pace while Nico’s doing stellar laps. Michael blames me for designing a car that’s more suited to Nico than to him and not redesigning it fast enough, and on top of that I have to deal with the car being off the general pace altogether.
Norbert’s under pressure from Zetsche, who wants results or else. And meanwhile there’s the gloomy presence of the Soup Nazi, who terrorises everyone with his bad German cooking and his dour mood. Michael used to wander off and steal a bite from the Ferrari catering – God I remember those days, now there’s some real food! – but Ferrari asked us to stop him from doing that because it was annoying the Hell out of Alonso.
Even the journos are starting to notice. Take yesterday’s after-qualifying press conference. We were supposed to be there all at the same time but when it started Norbert was the only one there because, you know, Michael and Nico are lapping a bit slower than the others. When they came in Norbert had to leave for another meeting. And I’d just skipped out for some decent food and misjudged the time so only came in when Michael and Nico were done.
Only thing I could do is say, look lads that’s not gloom you saw in Michael just now, that was steeliness and ambition. Good catch, if I say so myself, but I can’t help but wonder if we’ll get away with it much longer.
And you know, the next phase will be when we’ll have that redesigned car in Barcelona. I’m already preparing myself for one of two scenarios. Either the new car will work miracles for Schumi and Nico will be pissed off to no end, or Nico will keep on beating Michael and we’ll be in even bigger trouble.
He finished his second helping of bacon, eggs and sausage and sad, sorry, got to run now. I say look, Ross, do as I would do. Either you’ll win and Mercedes will pay you more money than you can count, or you keep on losing and Mercedes will pull out so you can buy back the team for pennies. Pull another Honda. Either way you win.
That cheered him up a little. But then he seemed to realise he had to face Norbert, Michael and the Soup Nazi again and slouched off.