“She’s okay…struggling with me leaving. Worried. You know how she is.”
“Yeah.” He chuckles. “I know how Katia gets.”
“Uncle John…you haven’t told anyone at Rybell who my dad was, have you?”
“No. You asked me not to, so I haven’t. I get why you want to keep it a secret, but honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary.”
For me, it is. My dad is regarded as one of the greatest drivers of all time. He was like the Messiah of Formula 1. People in the industry worshiped him—they still do—especially here in the UK. And I don’t want people thinking that, as a twenty-four-year-old female mechanic, I got the job off the back of my father’s name. I’d rather them think I was hired for my looks than that. So, while I’m here, I’m using my mother’s maiden name, Amaro, and telling no one that I’m William Wolfe’s daughter.
“I just want to prove myself without people knowing who my dad was.”
“Not necessary,” he reiterates.
I give him a look. “It is necessary. People will think I got the job because of my surname.”
“No, they won’t. You got the job because you’re one hell of a mechanic and no other reason.”
“You know that, but other people don’t. I just want the chance to prove myself before everyone knows who my dad was.”
“Okay.” He lets out a defeated sigh. “It’s your call. I’ll keep my mouth shut until you tell me I can open it.”
“Thank you.” I smile appreciatively at him.
Uncle John knows almost everyone in Formula 1, so asking him to keep this a secret is a big ask.
Uncle John has been with Carrick since he started karting when he was fourteen. That’s how Uncle John ended up back in Formula 1.
After my dad’s accident, Uncle John left Formula 1 and went to work in karting. I think being there, after my dad, was too hard for him. It was hard for everyone.
But when Carrick progressed and Uncle John saw the talent in him, Carrick and Owen Ryan—Carrick’s father and manager—persuaded Uncle John to move back to Formula 1 with them, so he did.
Working for Carrick is going to be such an honor.
Am I concerned about his reputation? Sure I am. But lucky for me, I’m used to horny drivers. Being a woman in a man’s world, I have to be. I’ve worked around men for long enough to know how to put them in their place. Getting involved with a driver is not an option for me.
After seeing what losing my dad did to my mum, I’m not exactly a relationship person. I tend to date here and there—a couple of months, maximum. It’s not that I’m averse to having a boyfriend. I just haven’t found anyone who I want to spend a lot of time with. And with my job, I travel around a lot, so it’s not really viable.
I’m either with other mechanics, who are all male—and I don’t get involved with coworkers, too messy—or I’m around drivers.
And I definitely don’t ever get involved with drivers. Ever.
They’re a slippery slope to heartbreak.
Uncle John comes to a stop outside a car I recognize instantly because I spent a lot of time driving around in it as a kid.
“Is that…your old Ford Capri?” I smile wide.
Uncle John had this car when I left for Brazil. A 1987 black Ford Capri with a red racing stripe down the side. I can’t believe he still has it.
“Yep, I still have her.” He grins. Popping the trunk, he hauls my suitcase into it.
“I can’t believe she’s still running.”
“You doubt the master.” He gives me a cheeky look before climbing into the driver’s side.
I get in the passenger side, putting my belt on. “No, I just thought you’d have upgraded by now.”
“You can never replace your first love.” He lovingly pats the steering wheel. Then, he turns the ignition, and she hums to life. “Okay, so where are we going?”
I give him a questionable look. “I thought you’d know that.”
“Well, I just thought I’d check and see if you’d changed into a normal person, one who just arrived here after traveling for the better part of a day and might want to go to her new apartment and get some rest.”
Uncle John has rented me a little furnished one-bedroom apartment, near Rybell’s headquarters in Heath and Reach, which is a little village in Bedfordshire.
“But if I’m guessing right and you’re not normal—like me—then I’m taking it, we’re going straight to Rybell?”
I look at him, a grin sliding on my face. “You guessed right.”
On the drive to Rybell, Uncle John talks to me about work and what I’m going to be doing when I start tomorrow.
He’s telling me the names of people I’m going to be working with, and I’m not remembering one of them, but I’m sure they’ll stick once I have a face to put with the name.
I see the Rybell building up ahead in the distance, and I start to bounce in my seat with excitement.
I’m not weird. This is just my thing.
You know how some girls get excited at the prospect of going shopping for shoes? Well, I get that way around cars, especially race cars.
I spent the better part of my life around a Formula 1 garage and the second half of it with my cousins back home, working on their cars.
I was practically raised in garage, a Formula 1 garage to be precise, so to me, this is like coming home.