There are times when the sterotypical jaded US TV network executives wake up and smell the roses. Our crumpled manuscript soap opera was piloted and had far better viewing figures than expected.
The concept of the drama inside the sport of motor racing is now high on 1 particular producer’s list of things to do… well.. above the other one anyway.
The problem is that knowing nothing about Formula One, his input is becoming somewhat bizarre and probably incredulous. Judge for yourselves….
F1 Days of our Lives
Brought to you by TJ13 Courtroom Drama and Gossip columnist: Mattpt55
Edited and revised by TJ13 Editor in Chief
Season 1, Episode 2
Cut to interior Mercedes Motor Home. Ross Brawn picks up newspaper with the headline, “MICHELIN poll F1 fans” plainly visible. Suddenly the phone rings. He answers…
Ross Brawn (Drawls in his plummy English accent): Hello Dieter… so we won Monaco… just like I said we would.
Dieter Zetsche (indignant): IT’s Doktor Z to you und when I said win at any cost, I didn’t mean actual MONEY!!! Just ze usual employee lives und so weiter..
Brawn (puzzled): I told you how much that test with Pirelli would cost, and you personally OK’d it. Anyway I’m pretty sure you’ll find a favorable deal in the post from Pirelli for your sports road car division… They knew the risks we took.
Zetsche (sounding like Vettel in reverse): That’s NOT what I’m talking about…
Brawn (being obtuse): That’s what I’m talking about!
Zetsche (exasperated): I’M.. talking about ze International Tribunal. You saw what zey did to McLaren… $100m???
Brawn (smiling, humours his Turkish born Germanic boss): Relax Dr Z, You’ve got your money’s worth by finally being able to run the global advertising campaign about Nico winning on his way to his old school…
Zetsche: But what if zey take away ze win?
Brawn (chuckling softly): By the time Jean returns from drumming up votes and brown paper envelopes on his tour of the Russian Baltic states, another race will be done and his beaurocratic rules give us 45 days before an International Tribunal will sit. Then it will be August and everyone will be drunk in the clubs of Ibiza singing the new Euro-pop anthem from Ferrari.
Zetsche (enquiringly): By ze way, why haven’t we got an anthem for Brackley?
Brawn (mischievously): We have… and we’ve gone 1 better than the Italians, in fact we have 2… you have surely heard them Dr. Z?
Zetsche (intrigued): Ja?
Brawn (matter of fact): Yes. We’ve got some bloke called ‘Rascal’, who whilst being a tad Dizzee, has remixed a couple of old favourites for you… Land of hope and Glory and errr… Rule Britannia…
Brawn (swiftly moving on): … anyway Dr. Z, Pirelli now owe us big time and no matter what the FIA do, they will give us the tyres to win your coveted constructor’s title in 2014… and THAT’s what matters isn’t it?
Zetsche (mollified somewhat) I suppose so…. but what if it’s Michelin who get the contract?
Brawn (slightly exasperated): Then we convince them we set Pirelli up, I’ve already talked to a few people from the old days just in case… remember Indy 2005? They have scores to settle too.
Zetsche: (confused) I’m not getting it.
Brawn (gazes longingly at the bottle of Louis XIV under the salmon fishing poster, takes a deep breath and explains): Meaning… we make Michelin believe we are the reason they are back in the show, which will pretty much be true.
Brawn (wipes his brow, continues sarcastically): Honestly Dieter, it’s as if you don’t trust me (mutters under his breath) even though you’ve hired another ten people to check I’m doing my job properly.
Zetsche (on the back foot now): It’s…. just that…. finally we had Red Bull looking awful und now suddenly we’re ze bad guys again
Brawn (wincing and massaging temples): So you would rather the daily news feeds not constantly feature your brand?
Zetsche (alarmingly Prussian): Nein it’s chust that ve must crush ze Bulls
Brawn (rolling eyes): You already have them where you want them, they have already made it impossible to get the new tyres they want this year thanks to that drama queen Horner, and we got all the publicity from F1’s ‘jewel in the crown’ – Monaco.
Brawn (enquiringly) What is it with you and Dietrich anyway?
Zetsche: It all started ven I vas just a young lad in Hochschule, which both Dietrich Mateschitz and I attended.
Brawn (staring at piles of paperwork on autopilot asks): Yes well… that’s very interesting Dieter, By the way I didn’t…
Zetsche (ploughs on regardless): One day ven I got only 95% in a test, ze teacher said ‘vy can’t you be like that other Dietrich who vos a genius?’
Brawn (groans inwardly and thinks… ‘Bugger me. Why did I ask?’)
Zetsche: (without pausing for breath continues) und following our first visit to ze ‘Schitz’ house, my Mama und Papa returned und vanted to know why I couldn’t be fun und exciting like ze other Dietrich… (shrieking) und zey shpent all zere time WITH HIM…
Brawn (Switches off, remembers the happy days and thinks to himself ‘Oh, what I could do with unlimited testing and my friends from Bridgestone?’ His mind plays back a montage of pictures from the Schumacher/Ferrari glory days).
Zetsche (continues speaking whilst Ross dreams): Und so zen I changed my nahme to Dieter und swore one day I’d rule a multinational corporation to show him und my parents who vos ze true genius.
Brawn (still elsewhere in his mind moves on to think of his future. He see’s a big game fishing boat, himself strapped into the master chair at the stern, rod in hand and a tug on the end of the line. Only instead of a fish on the hook, it was Lewis Hamilton.
Just as Brawn is about to reel him in a shark comes from nowhere and swallows up Lewis, right off the end of his line. Brawn notices the shark has battle-scarred flesh and one badly deformed gill… Horrified by the tricks his mind is playing on him Brawn shakes himself… and is at once back in the moment).
Zetsche (triumphant): Und I vill not rest until I purge ze memory of reckless und crazy Austrians und I can once again reclaim meine rightful nahme und heritage! First Mateschitz…. und zen ze World!!! (crazed cackling laughter of a maniac follows)
Brawn (wryly): Yes Dieter…
Zetsche (interrupting): Its Doktor Z, I told you zis already.
Brawn (ignoring him): Just make sure Norbert’s envelope gets to him on time, huh.
Zetsche: Ja, ja, ja… und I’ve fixed it so Paddy will begin his orientation tomorrow in Stuttgart. Our new director of HR has re-designed ze programme. It now takes 26 weeks to complete.
Brawn (Drawls): Yes I know, you’ve told me numerous times… this – job – is – mine – as long as I want it…
Zetsche (Bullish now): Ja, zis is true my big bear – especially with ze win in Monaco…
Brawn (ignoring him and idly checking his bank balance on his mobile app): Well Dr. Z… this HAS been very interesting indeed, but I really must be off. Lewis wants to chat about switching from our high quality Italian brakes… or some such nonsense.
Zetsche: I’ll just say one word Ross… STARMANN…. anyway, Auf Wiedersehn, until Canada zen (hangs up).
Brawn crosses to bottle of Louis XIV, halfway there the phone rings, he looks at the name, NIKI LAUDA on phone. He ignores it. As he is pouring the vintage cognac the phone rings again, this time the name TOTO WOLFF appears. He ignores that call too and thinks…. ‘imbeciles, they know nothing of their true Master’.
Brawn (raises his glass and gazes at the fishing poster, laughs softly to himself and says out loud): All this will really be your problem one day Paddy.
Cut to interior of helicopter in the midst of violent maneuvering, Jean Todt, surrounded by a bevy of interns, is clearly in a bad mood. Suddenly Todt in Gallic high dudgeon, grabs one of the interns by the collar….
To be continued….