You are Fernando Alonso. On Friday afternoon, just moments before second practice got underway at Monza, your dreams for the future took a huge battering.
When your manager whispered in your ear that Ferrari had just extended Kimi Raikkonen's contract for another year, you were not totally surprised. But, it was still enough to leave you disappointed.
Word on the paddock grapevine had told you several months ago that such a deal was going to happen, but still it hurt deep inside that a chance to join F1's most mythical, and most competitive, team had gone.
Later that afternoon, after a miserable time on track, you told the press that your choice of team next year was going to be the gamble of your life. With offers on the table from BMW Sauber and Honda if you choose to leave your friends at Renault, there are three clear options for the future.
Fernando Alonso © LAT
Yet, somehow, what you must do is obvious, isn't it?
You realised from that terrible time at McLaren in 2007 that being happy inside a team is just as important as being in a competitive car. You don't want any possibility of a repeat of political troubles off track, so it's important that you settle in with faces you know well, people you can trust and team members who worship everything you do.
You also need a competitive car, and a team who are proven winners. There seems little point in wasting time with an outfit going through the restructuring phase that could take two, three or four years. You want results, and you want results now.
That is why you have to look to the man who is leading the car design process. He has to have a damn good track record, have shown in the past that he is not only good enough for the job of creating a quick racing car, but perhaps the best. And you are not talking about having simply created a car good enough for wins in the past - you want to know he can design a car capable of winning the world championship.
The engine is important too. F1's engine freeze has caused you untold trouble at Renault this year, with the French manufacturer not 'exploiting' the regulations to the same extent that some other teams have. Your current boss is telling you that hopefully the FIA will step in and equalise things up for 2009 - but is there any guarantee? You need to be sure when you put pen to paper on a contract that you are getting hold of one of the very best power-units there is.
Then let's not forget the length of the deal. You are at the stage of your career now where it is important you are not locked in for too long. Not for you the wasting of years creating a future world championship. Winning here and now is important and, if things do go wrong next year when the regulations are thrown up in the air, you want the ability to move ship for 2010. That means driving for a team who will be happy to take that one year gamble with you.
You also want a team that knows its racing. At McLaren, and when you raced against them in Renault, you saw several times the dangers of over-engineering, relying too much on the theoretical best rather than following the racing instinct. Having a small tight-knit team operating as one, with total unity, is vital.
Fernando Alonso and Robert Kubica © XPB
And you also want to feel the number one, even if the team will not give that to you on paper. You don't like it when your teammate beats you - it doesn't fit in with the total belief in yourself that you are the very best out there. You want to be in a position where the team look to you for leadership and where the guy in the other car is happy to have you there - not desperate to prove a point and pull the rug from under your feet.
Money is a factor too. Things are tight at the manufacturer teams, as you well know from Renault, and you need to be sure that the man who signs the cheques has a fair bit of commitment to digging deep in his own pockets. And maybe deeper than he has done in the past just because you are there.
Yes Fernando, it's all coming together isn't it? You've got to take the gamble of your life. You have got to drive for Scuderia Toro Rosso.