In the early 1990s, there was talk of a TV 'soap' set in and around Formula 1. The late Adam Faith, a good friend of Bernie Ecclestone, was involved, and he came to Barcelona one year, together with a couple of scriptwriters.
The idea was that it would centre round the paddock - the people, the gossip, the friendships and rivalries and intrigues. There would be no actual racing involved.
In the end it never came to anything - but then it didn't need to, for life has perfectly imitated art, as demonstrated over the French GP weekend. Lots of talk, lots of anger, a laugh or two, and - so far as F1 is concerned, anyway - no racing whatever. This was one of those weekends that made you weep for our sport.
On Saturday afternoon, as the final segment of qualifying was about to begin, Michael Schumacher pulled alongside Fernando Alonso in the pitlane. With this particular chunk of qualifying now shortened from 20 to 15 minutes, there was a greater need than before to get out and get on with it.