The voice on the phone is typical Oriol Servia. Cheerful, upbeat, playful. "Oriol?" the caller asks. Long pause. "Yes, it is him. He is me." He's being Servia just days after losing his job.
There are reasons he's in a good mood despite the demise of Newman/Haas Racing, the legendary American team founded in 1983 by Carl Haas and Paul Newman that fielded championship cars for legends like Michael and Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Cristiano da Matta and Sebastien Bourdais and remained surprisingly strong even into its sudden farewell. Servia was fourth in the 2011 IndyCar Series for NHR; his team-mate James Hinchcliffe was the championship's Rookie of the Year.
The team announced suddenly last week that it would not field cars for the 2012 season. A sponsorship deal fell through at the last minute, and Servia got the call - not unexpected but still devastating - shortly after a flight from Chicago to Barcelona. Welcome home. You're unemployed.
Today though, Servia is in a good mood because of the periphery. Earlier in the day, he completed a photoshoot/road test for a magazine. The theme of the piece was hot supercars, and he got to drive and critique four of the best. You simply cannot be in a foul mood after torturing the asphalt with a McLaren MP4-12C, a Ferrari 458, a Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 and a Porsche 911 Turbo.