Certainly a very tricky situation, and how will Mitch try and get out of it?
Mitch slammed his foot on the brake but knew that stopping wasn’t an option. The track was slippery and grip was almost non-existent. Bruno was inches away. Mitch jerked the car left, as hard as it would go, and held his breath.
Bruno steered the other way, but his out of control Shuttleworth continued sideways. They touched wheels. Mitch found himself bouncing away and he shifted the steering to avoid a spin. The car skidded to a halt on the grass. Bruno finally regained control and stopped just as his front wing touched the barrier.
A moment’s pause and it fell off, clattering to the ground.
Silence, except for the low rumble of two idling engines.
Simultaneously, but on opposite sides of the track, Mitch and Bruno finally let out a long breath.
“What are you playing at?” Mitch ranted, storming into the Shuttleworth garage.
Bruno was climbing out of the car, the test mechanics swarming the vehicle to inspect the damage to the nose. He pulled off his helmet and turned to face the enraged visitor. “It was a gamble,” he said simply.
Mitch looked aghast. “A gamble? Intermediate tyres out there? In that? And you call yourself a champion.”
They both turned to look at the pitlane, where the rain had begun to fall again.
“It was a bad call, okay?” Bruno said. “But no harm done.”
“It could have been a disaster. If I hadn’t steered out the way in time…”
“Whatever,” Bruno said, then cursed himself for sounding like a spoiled teenager. “Not everything is about you, Mitch.”
“What does that mean?”
“Poor old Mitch, the rookie who was knocked out of his first race. It happens. Little Mitch, the driver who had to take team orders. Doesn’t everyone? Mitch has girls falling over themselves for him but still his life is one big drama.”
Mitch stood back, realisation dawning, and a wry smile crossed his face. “This is about Melissa,” he said. “You wanted to prove something.”
“I don’t need to prove anything,” Bruno shouted. He shoved his helmet into the hands of a passing mechanic, and stormed into the back of the garage. Mitch shook his head as his old teammate departed, and turned to leave. Melissa was stood against the wall, a notepad in hand, pen paused above the page. They locked eyes.
Mitch opened his mouth to speak, but she hurried out of the garage.
“Hello, hello,” the chirpy voice greeted Mitch.
“Mason? How’s paradise?”
“Beautiful. How’s sunny old Silverstone?”
“Not at all sunny.”
“Ah yes, I have seen the photos. I’ve also heard about this tyre mixup.”
Mitch couldn’t help but laugh. “Are you following testing on your honeymoon?”
“Hey, if everyone goes around Twittering about it, what am I meant to do?”
“Open another bottle of champagne and not look?”
“Mmm. So, Bruno wasn’t playing fair then, eh?”
“Are you going to kick up a fuss?”
Mitch paused. “Not sure what you mean.”
“Come on, you know the rules. Mortimer vs Shuttleworth. It’s only right we make them pay.”
“It’s not really my style.”
“It’s our style though. How about we make some calls to some people and put the word out that we’re not happy? That Bruno was pushing his luck, driving dangerously, isn’t worthy of being called a champion.”
“Come on, what harm can it do? Maybe the powers that be will sit up and take notice or maybe they won’t. Either way his reputation gets damaged a little, which is as much as he deserves. Plus, it can only be good for you. How is Melissa anyway?” Mason paused but Mitch didn’t reply. “What do you say then? I can get my uncle to make some calls.”
What will Mitch do?