Any long-running soap opera reaches a stage where its storylines are all played out, viewing figures begin to sag, and sooner or later a new producer is hauled in to sort it out. At that point the regular cast begins to get twitchy, knowing that a catastrophic fire, a random murder or a hitherto unplanned "move to the city" may be coming their character's way.
This is the atmosphere in the Formula 1 paddock right now as the stakeholders, competitors and sundry hangers-on wonder what lies in the future - for their enterprises and their livelihoods as well as F1 itself - once the sale to Liberty Media goes through.
That's not to say that we might soon be welcoming back long-departed regular characters from times past (imagine: Flavio Briatore swipes through the paddock gates. Cut to close-up. "Ayyyy... Remember me?" Cue dramatic outro to closing credits), or meeting a new family with a mysterious past, or sharing Jean Todt's horror as he wakes up to find Max Mosley in the shower.