No matter how close you are to the racing world, it's not possible to know everything that happens in all parts of it. That's what Alexa is currently telling everyone she meets after a clanger in the paddock this afternoon, anyway...
The series communications boss has become quite friendly with Sergio Perez's father Antonio ever since they joined the GP2 family for the Asia series, and she has been happy to help out with advice on spreading the word about his current racing form, as she does for all of our drivers. But she was more than a little confused when Antonio told her excitedly that Sergio's manager was in town for the weekend.
“I don't know why he was so keen for me to meet him,” she told us later, upstairs in the bus, “but he brought me over and said Alexa, this Adrian Fernandez: we shook hands and said hello, Antonio said maybe we should get some shots of him later, and then I came back here. But the strange thing is that there were loads of people around asking for his autograph: maybe more than were asking for Sergio's.”
“Of course they were: he's the most famous racing driver in Mexico.”
“Oh. Is that something that people know?”
“Everyone who works in racing does, anyway...”
She wasn't the only one having a tough day in the paddock: Pastor Maldonado was clearly struggling to repeat his usual peerless form in Monaco after a disappointing qualifying session where, to add insult to injury, he was handily beaten by his rookie teammate Nico Hülkenberg. Today's race wasn't much better for the Venezuelan: a gamble on an early pitstop meant that he was forever trying to find his way back up through the grid, and surviving a coming together with Kamui Kobayashi looked to be his only positive of the race.
“Yeah, it's not so good today,” he noted over lunch, looking downcast. Until, that is, the penalties were announced, which brought the old Pastor back to life. “You see? I am always first in Monaco!” he laughed about his newly applied eighth position for the feature race, which gives him pole for tomorrow's sprint race. “I just can't help it!”
Although all of his rivals will be hoping for a little of Paolo's divine intervention, the combination of Pastor Maldonado and pole position in Monaco looks fairly ominous for everyone else...