#Aston Martin
internetgremlin-writes · a day ago
Flat Spin
Summary/Prompt: As the only female driver on the grid, you're fighting a constant need to prove yourself, however sometimes the line between accepting help and hand-outs is more blurred than you think
Word Count: 8,060
Pairing: Carlos Sainz x Female Reader
Warnings: Description of a racing crash, mentions of vomit, angst-ish, fluffy ending! It's a long one kids but stick with it
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You were flying.
Every time you got in that car you felt as if you were flying, the swooping sensation in your stomach and the rush in your ears carrying you as adrenaline pumped through your bloodstream.
You adored racing, and despite not being from any sort of motorsporting family, you could have sworn it was in your blood. You never felt as good as you did behind the wheel, going over 200 miles per hour and hurtling into turns. It was two hours of pure adrenaline and nothing could beat that rush.
Like every other driver, you had been karting since you were a child, climbing through the ranks and finally earning your spot as a Formula One driver. It was your third year now, old enough to no longer be considered a rookie, but new enough that you were still frequently referred to as the 'new kid', despite being older than both Yuki Tusunoda and Lando Norris. But for you, it was a little different.
Because you were unfortunate enough to have been born a girl.
Your career from an early age had been followed by significant media attention, especially once you became the highest-ranking female driver and even that was nothing compared to the media storm you caused when it was announced you had signed to an F1 team. Aston Martin was nearly denounced by fans for taking you on, however, after finishing your rookie season in a respectable P9, they quickly shut up.
This year would be different still. You'd had a flying start, and without really noticing it you had found yourself fighting in the top five, and suddenly the words 'Championship contender' were following you around. That week you were at Imola, a fine enough track in Italy but by no means your favourite. Qualifying had been tough, and you ended up in P8 on the grid, but you were quickly making progress.
Time seemed to move differently when you raced because you'd already done 3/4 of the laps in what felt like just a few minutes and managed to claw your way up to P3 in a difficult and wet dog fight that had you nearly spin out twice.
"Y/N, radio check," your strategist's voice crackled into your earpiece. Feeling good about your current position you decided to entertain the crowd a little and sing a few lines from what had become your signature song as an F1 driver.
"She's a maneater, make you work hard, make you spend hard, make you want all of her lo-o-ove," You sent back. Being the only female driver on the grid had earnt you the playful title of 'Maneater', for your rather vicious overtakes on some very impressive corners to gain places and shave seconds. You heard your strategist laugh down the radio for a second, and then he was back to business.
"You're pretty close to Sainz now in P2. I want you to get on his tail, then we're gonna pull a signature Maneater overtake on turn 7, okay?"
The plan made sense, except your mental map of the course made you falter. Turn 7 was a particularly nasty hairpin and in the wet weather, it would take all of your strength just to keep the car in tight and not lose time drifting wide.
"You sure it's safe when it's so wet?"
"Sainz has already pitted and his lap time is just above yours on wet tires. The only way to overtake him is through the bend, he's not as strong on turns as you are,"
"Gotcha," you signed off and turned all your focus onto catching the tail of the red Ferrari that had been coming in and out of your sight for a few laps.
Stepping on the gas and feeling the car leap forward into your hands made you grin like a maniac behind your helmet, and you took a quick sip of your drink before beginning your hunt.
By the end of the lap, you were virtually sitting on Carlos' rear wing. You felt a bit bad because Sainz had become one of your closer friends on the grid, but there was no time for friends in the actual race, and you'd buy him a drink after as had become the overtake custom between you and a handful of drivers. The rain was starting to drive and the track was no longer damp but properly soaked. You could feel the spray from the car in front pelting you.
"Guys I don't know about this overtake," you admitted into the radio as you had to rapidly correct a slide into turn 5.
"Y/N, I promise you he'll go wide to protect himself and you'll have the perfect opening. If you want the championship we need you to step up the aggression and chase the title," You were not happy with your strategist for pushing you in the conditions, but you knew at the end of the day that if you wanted to keep a lead driver position with the team and be within a fighting chance for championship then they were right.
As predicted, on the approach to turn 7 Carlos' car drifted wide and you tucked yourself even closer, coming up on his inside as you rammed the car into the curb with all your might and pulled through the corner. It was working, and you could see the nose of your car draw level with his as you reached the apex of the turn.
Your mistake came when you hit the acceleration. Your aim had been to push the speed coming out of the corner and complete the overtake, but your tyres span on the wet tarmac and you felt the car jerk in your hands as the back end swang out, sending the front following it around and your stomach dropped as you felt the sickening sensation of a wet spin.
All you felt was an almighty impact that made your neck snap back against your support brace and your hands fly off the wheel, the impact then forcing the car to jolt the opposite way and a second fast spin followed by an even harder impact swept any comprehension from under your feet.
You weren't sure if the car had stopped or not, because your head was spinning so violently and your body was still recoiling from the double impact and the intense G forces that had thrown you about. Your radio was crackling and buzzing in your ear, but clearly, the connection was lost. Your eyes kept sliding in and out of focus and you weren't entirely sure if you were conscious, everything around you was silent and you felt like you were sitting underwater, watching everything happen above the surface. You could faintly smell burning.
You didn't move. You weren't sure if you could, or if you just didn't want to. You were warm, very warm. But it was nice. You were quite happy to sit in the fuzzy little bubble.
The only thing to bring you from the haze was the feeling of something gripping the shoulder pads of your race suit and tugging you upwards. You felt like you were moving in slow motion, but you finally registered that you were supposed to get out of the car and in clumsy movements, with much tugging, you managed to stumble from the cockpit.
The body you stumbled into immediately wrapped an arm around your waist and half dragged your body as your feet scrambled on the gravel and made sluggish attempts at steps. You felt yourself being hoisted, and you vaguely registered that you'd been pulled over the barrier and clear of the track. You were pulled further away and then forced into a sitting position with your back against a low concrete wall a little further away.
The person who'd dragged you out was in front of you, shouting something but their voice was muffled by their helmet. They were fiddling with yours, yanking it off your head followed by your baklava, and then their own. You recognised the Ferrari race suit and realised it was Carlos squatting in front of you. He was shouting at you, you could see his mouth moving but the words weren't reaching you through the fog surrounding your head.
"Are you stupid!?" He was shouting over the noise, the words starting to reach you but you just stared at him blankly.
"Are you stupid!?" He yelled again, "What the hell were you thinking!?" He carried on a little, the same question of your stupidity and a string of Spanish swear words repeating rather frequently.
The fog in your head lifted momentarily and the full force of the accident suddenly hit you. Your whole body lurched as your stomach dropped and your head started to spin again as it throbbed with pain.
"I'm going to be sick," was all you managed before rather ungracefully turning your head sideways.
Carlos immediately leapt up, helping to pull your body into a better position. One hand was gripping firmly to your shoulder strap, making sure you didn't tip forward into your mess, and the other rubbed gentle circles on your back.
"It's okay, Y/N, it's okay, I'm here, I'm here," he was mumbling, face far too close for your liking with what was happening, but you were grateful. Your whole body hurt and you could feel the energy draining from you rapidly.
"Where the fuck is first aid!?" He was shouting again, but not at you. There was too much activity and you were too preoccupied to work out if someone was replying to him. "I don't care! I don't give a shit about the fire, she needs help! Where are they!?" You'd stopped dry heaving and he handed you his baklava to wipe your mouth, before helping you back into a sitting position so you could lean against the wall.
And then it finally hit you, that you'd collided with Carlos. "Shit, Carlos, are you okay? I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm sorry-" you were rambling but he cut you off.
"I'm okay, hey," his hand found your chin and forced you to make eye contact with him. His eyes were wide and had a slightly wild look in them, but they were dark and honest, his cheeks were flushed pink and had lines from his helmet that stood out even against his deep tan, and other than his hair being damp and sticking up in every direction he really looked okay. "I'm okay," he repeated, and you believed him.
"Shit, I'm so sorry," you sounded meek. The adrenaline and initial shock of the crash were fading and you were feeling very small and very tired.
"What were you thinking?" His voice was softer, the initial anger giving way to concern. "That overtake is bad even in the dry weather, why attempt it in the wet?"
You were starting to feel very warm again, and Carlo's features felt like they were drawing away from you as if you were slipping through a tunnel. There was a ringing in your ears. Behind you, you vaguely registered the start of another flurry of activity.
"My strategist..." you mumbled, the words feeling heavier and heavier on your tongue "They told me to...if I want the championship..." Carlos' eyes visibly darkened, thick eyebrows drawing into a scowl and he started breathing through parted lips, muttering a single word you didn't recognise. The tunnel seemed to be extending and the last thing you saw before you let the darkness consume you was Carlos craning around frantically, the look on his face positively murderous.
You came around under the bright white lights of the track's sickbay in the pit lane. The hard foam of the examination table was pressing hard into your hips and shoulders, your head uncomfortably tilted upwards on a lumpy but simultaneously flat pillow.
You started to stir, tentatively stretching your legs out and carefully gauging your body's reaction, testing the stretch available in your sore muscles. The track doctor must have heard you because he turned around from where we was stood with his back to you, examining something you couldn't see.
He was a tall man, with pale skin, platinum blonde hair and washed blue eyes that reminded you of the colour of hospital gowns. He was neat as a pin, down to the iron pressed suit and row of pens clipped into his breast pocket lab coat, also pressed, and the stethoscope perfectly balanced around his neck.
"Ah, Miss Y/L/N, I'm glad to see you awake," you couldn't quite place the soothing yet slightly clipped accent he spoke with.
"I need to ask you a few questions, okay?" You nodded, which you soon realised was a mistake as the room seemed to swoop in front of you. You stilled and had to take a deep breath, determined not to let him see you in any worse state than you already were
"Can you tell me your name please?"
"Y/N, Y/N Y/L/N,"
"Good, and do you know what day it is?"
"Excellent. Now this last one is a little tricky, okay? Do you know why you're here?"
You were quiet for a moment. And then it slowly started flooding back to you, the flash of red on green and the out of control feeling of the car spinning you into the wall. You remembered the force of the impact and, for some reason, Carlos Sainz's face.
"I crashed," you mumbled "I hit another car on the corner and span into the wall," the realisation that you had a DNF and no points to add to your championship campaign created a knot in your stomach.
"Very good!" He seemed a lot happier about your predicament than you were.
"How long have I been here? Is the race finished? Is Carlos okay?" The apparent approval from the doctor opened a floodgate of your own questions, but he sushed you gently and encouraged you to quieten down and lay back on the bed.
"No need to panic, Miss Y/L/N, please. The race is finished and you have only been here a few minutes. You passed out when you were removed from the track and the ambulance crew brought you straight here, I was just taking your heart rate when you woke up. Mr Sainz is fine, he is a little shaken but has already returned to his team,"
You nodded, still in shock from the crash and you found yourself having to work hard to follow the doctor's explanation.
He continued to examine you, shining a light in both of your eyes and asking you to perform several reflexes and further memory tests once you were able to sit up.
"Well, I am pleased with you. That was a big crash and you have no lasting injuries. As you managed to walk away we don't have to send you to the hospital. You are not showing any signs of a concussion but I would like you to please be watching for the symptoms, okay? You will be sore for a few days, and I would like to you rest a little, but other than that I am happy to release you to your team,"
The doctor helped you to your feet and you found that you were able to stand, and despite most of your muscles screaming you managed a polite thanks and collected the slip of paper signing you off and making your way slowly back to your home garage.
The scene when you arrived was surprising, your teammate and mentor Sebastian Vettel was in a shouting match with your head strategist. Sebastian was backed by a small green-clad crowd, but the head of Aston Martin and your whole strategy team were stood opposing him.
"-because you know this isn't the first time you've made her do something so dangerous in a race!" Someone tried to interrupt him but Sebastian was having none of it, "No! I have stood by and I have watched her be pushed and pushed and pushed! I won't have it anymore, she's your primary but I'm older and I have championships and this is not how you win. I won't watch her win like this,"
"It's not like that-" someone, you couldn't pick out who in the flurry of activity, started.
"You are going to get her killed!" Sebastian jabbed your strategist in the chest so hard he stumbled back a step. "I won't stand by and watch it happen." He turned on his heel and stormed out, finally spotting you leaning against the entrance.
You must have looked a state because his face instantly softened and he rested a hand on your forearm.
"You're coming with me now, we are going to cool down," he turned and shot a venomous look at the team behind him, who looked completely shellshocked. "We will be in the meeting later." And with that Sebastian led you out of the garage.
"I'm sorry for you to see that," you shrugged.
"It's okay, I'm okay anyway,"
"No, it's not okay. I knew they were pushing you, and several other drivers have made comments feeling you are being dangerous this year. And now we know it was not your choice, I am just so cross that they are doing this to you. And that we needed a crash for something to be said," he shook his head as he walked.
You didn't know what to say in response, so you just swallowed the lump in your throat and said nothing. It had never occurred to you that your team had been putting you in such dangerous positions and that you, who had been awed by the promise of the first female championship, had been blindly following their instructions. You were also worried you'd let Sebastian down, he was your mentor and your hero. The idea of disappointing him was in ways worse than the entire of Aston Martin and the FIA combined.
Seb led you back to your driver's room and left you to manage yourself whilst he did his own cooldown routine. Having not completed the race you decided against your usual routine, instead opting to look after your body for a change. A trick from Carlos sprang to your mind. You had mocked him when he had first admitted that a big part of his routine was sitting in a massive bucket filled with ice-cold water, but now the idea sounded glorious for the multitude of bumps, bruises and aching muscles you'd acquired. You fixed yourself an electrolyte drink and changed into your swimwear before submerging yourself in the shockingly cold water. It was unpleasant, but as you grew used to it you could feel it soothing your whole body, and when you clambered out you had to admit you felt refreshed and a lot more comfortable. Your physiotherapist was about, so you called her in and relished in the feeling of the deep sports massage and adjustments she did with you to help limit the pain you'd be in over the following days.
As much as you wanted to avoid the team meeting, especially after Sebastian's outburst you knew you couldn't. And before long you found yourself slouched in an uncomfortable chair around a large table in the corporate offices above the garage. As you had suspected, the meeting was the first in what would be a string of many at headquarters in the coming weeks. You were given a formal apology from your strategy team for the accident, and Sebastian sat grimly with his arms folded and refused to apologise for his words until they gave you more than the formal apology because he felt it wasn't enough. Then the meeting was the usual, driver reports of the car's performance, a quick review of the statistics and a couple of goals set for your next race. Nobody dared analyse the crash. Seb made life wonderfully difficult for the team, and every time they tried to get more than the essential information out of him he'd just remind them with a short "I'm still mad at you," and simply refuse to say another word.
You had been told you weren't allowed to drive yourself back to the hotel, which was fine by you because your body was so heavy and tired that you had no interest in driving at all. You even skipped the paddock walk or finding the podium boys to congratulate, deciding to opt for the injury excuse to avoid interviews and use the back exit to leave. Seb had offered to drive you back to the hotel, but he didn't have a choice in the post-race interview matter, so instead, you tossed your PR manager-slash-bodyguard Katie, a rather fierce ex-England Rugby player, your keys and let her drive you back to the hotel.
Once in the safety of your hotel room, the exhaustion of the day hit a whole new level. You just about managed a sitting-down shower to scrub the race-day grime from your hair and body and changed into a pair of your most comfortable sweatpants and an oversized crop top and you crashed out on the king-sized bed with shitty TV in the background.
It was only late in the afternoon, but it didn't stop you from falling into a deep, empty sleep that you woke up from several hours later, to a completely dark and silent room.
You reached blindly for your phone, blinking in the bright white light as it turned on in your face to realise it was only just past 9pm. You contemplated simply rolling over and falling back asleep, but scrolling through your Instagram had woken you up too much, plus a loud growl from your stomach reminded you that you had barely eaten that day and had only had an electrolyte solution after the race.
You had a couple of notifications, mainly from family members and a handful of drivers wishing you well, including Sebastian who was asking for regular updates on your health. You wrote them all back and spent a little time scrolling through your tags on your Instagram account, even reposting a couple of fans' stories of the crash and reassuring people that you were okay. You were sitting with the music channel on in the background once again as you browsed the room service menu. Nothing was really capturing your attention, as most of it was large, heavy meals you knew you weren't allowed during training and that you didn't really want when another text notification drew your attention back to your phone.
Carlos Sainz: I hope you are feeling better now, Y/N.
Carlos and you texted every now and then. You had a good friendship with him, and you would consider him close, but it was more of an in-person friendship and you almost exclusively associated him with race-week antics. Your messages were largely confined within the realms of the odd well wish, a birthday message or double-checking group plans. Although this tex was to be expected, it still made your insides warm a little.
You: I am, thanks! Just had a big nap and I feel pretty much back to normal
That was a lie, your headache had definitely died down but you were still stiff and achy, not to mention embarrassed and frustrated and deeply confused over the conflict the incident had caused. You felt a little guilty for lying to Carlos, so before you could think you were typing out a follow-up message.
You: I'm actually just about to order some food, so by Seb's standards, I'm totally cured :D
You instantly regretted the smiley face, how embarrassing could you be? You tossed your phone to the side and started going back through the menu, but another notification came through almost instantly.
Carlos Sainz: Would you like some company?
That was enough to send your heart rate up and you felt a small stirring in the pit of your stomach.
Carlos Sainz: I didn't eat yet either
You: Sure, it's the least I can do for you after today
You: But you're coming to my room, I'm not dealing with the dining hall tonight
Carlos Sainz: I don't mind
You swallowed hard, you didn't really know why this was having such an effect on you. Maybe it was just because in three years' time the only driver you'd ever chosen to spend one-on-one time with was Seb, outside of the paddock and other race week promo business you ended up on. Well, there was no going back now.
You: Room 287
Carlos simply sent a thumbs-up emoji after that, so you assumed it meant message received. You knew he was staying in the same hotel as you, as were the majority of the drivers because nearly all the managers went for the same trick of booking the closest hotel to the track with a 5-star rating, but you had no idea what time he'd arrive.
Considering he had only ever seen you before in either your race suit or promotional paddock wear and the occasional formal outfit for events, you weren't entirely sure what was appropriate now. You decided that the least you could do was splash some cold water on your face and re-do your hair into a neater ponytail that didn't look like it had been recently slept on. You made your bed and quickly shoved some clothes that were lying around into the wardrobe so there was less clutter about. You were just contemplating changing outfits when there was a soft knock on your door.
Even though he'd barely made a sound, the knock still made you jump and you had to take a second to steady yourself before you answered the door. A rather sheepish looking Carlos was on the other side.
"I feel like I am sneaking around, doing something I shouldn't be," he admitted, scratching the back of his head as he stepped into your room, taking in his surroundings with the same analytical gaze he seemed to approach everything with.
"Sorry," you mumbled, "I'm just not feeling up to going anywhere,"
"Hey, no, it's okay," he was quick to retaliate "It's more important you get time to recover, no?" He finally looked at you then, with those deep brown eyes so full of emotion, a gentle smile just playing at the corners of his lips. He, too, was dressed more casually in a plain but well-fitting white t-shirt and his standard blue jeans. You still felt underdressed, because Carlos had a knack for always looking put together, and because you were still wearing sweatpants. You cleared your throat awkwardly, and unsure of what to say, nodded stiffly.
"Uh, yeah. So, um, do you wanna look at the menu?" Carlos followed you as you walked in front of him, plucking the menu from where it had been sat on your bed and handing it to him, before moving towards the sofa under the window and sitting down. It felt weird to sit on your bed around him.
Carlos seated himself on the desk chair but angled his body slightly so he was nearly facing you. He was leaning back in the chair, confident and relaxed with one leg crossed over the other but maintaining perfect posture. His arms were massive, even when just holding the menu up and the white top further accentuated his deep tan skin. His head was dipped forward slightly and the angle he was sitting at gave you a jawline sharp enough to slice through, well, anything. His eyebrows were drawn together as he scanned the page and his full lips moved slightly as he tested out certain words. His hair was jet black, shiny from a fresh wash and combed neatly behind his ears, but just tufting up a little at the back of his head and the fringe was long and flopped forward onto his face.
Suddenly, as if someone had dumped a bucket of ice-cold water on your head, you realised why you were so nervous.
He's gorgeous, you thought, rapidly followed by; shit. Because you needed him out of your room now and you couldn't see any normal way to say 'So I've suddenly realised you're incredibly attractive and I can barely breathe when you're around me let alone act normal so please can you go?' It wasn't that you hadn't known he was attractive before, come on, you weren't blind, but you'd never seen him attractive like that before and it was completely throwing you.
Just as you were about to blurt out some excuse as to why you suddenly couldn't entertain guests this evening, Carlos lifted his head and looked at you.
"Is there anything you would like?" Maybe it was because he held eye contact the entire time he spoke, and held it after, or maybe it was the Spanish accent but you felt like you were in a vacuum. You forced yourself to smile, screaming internally to act natural and not fuck this up because losing him as a friend would suck entirely.
"I dunno, it all sounds pretty crap if you ask me," You didn't know how someone could look at you with childlike curiosity, and at the same time like they are about to say or do something entirely sinful. Instead, he leaned back and laughed and you found yourself breathing a little easier.
"Are you fussy? Like Lando? Please, no, I cannot deal with teaching another child to eat," he groaned dramatically, but was grinning at you.
"I'm not fussy!" You defended yourself, but met his playful tone, "I just don't know what I want,"
"Women," he rolled his eyes "None of you ever know what you want to eat. Come on, not even the burgers sound good?" The way he dragged out the 'come on' and rolled his r's was simply distracting. Your stomach decided to step in and make a loud squeaky growl. Judging by the way Carlos' eyes widened and he let out another free giggle, he'd heard too. "See, you are hungry! I'm ordering the burgers, okay?"
"Yeah, alright," you agreed, and then "Actually yeah, burgers sound great, thanks,"
There was something about his confidence that you found innately attractive, the way he was instantly comfortable in your room, but still respectful. He picked up the phone on your bedside table and dialled down as if it was the most natural thing in the world, sending glances at you and pulling a funny face as someone spoke at him from the other side of the line like he'd been placing orders for you all his life. When he sat back down it was on the sofa, beside you, so you turned to face him.
"Hey, Carlos, look I'm so sorry again about the race today-"
"No, I want to talk, please? I shouldn't have ever attempted that corner so close to you, no matter what I was being told over the radio, and it was totally my fault. Not that it's an excuse for dangerous driving, but they - my strat team - have been really getting in my head about this year's championship, you know? I think something's going on with it because you should have seen Seb, he went off the handle back at the garage. He said they were going to kill me, and he threatened to quit,"
Carlos' face had changed too, his jaw a little set and he'd lost all sense of relaxed teasing.
"They will, if they keep asking you to make choices like that. You are young, still, and you are supposed to be trusting in your team, why should you question them, ay? You shouldn't have to, not yet anyway," he sounded cross, and then he softened a little. "Dios mío, when I saw you in that car. You didn't move, Y/N, you weren't responding. There was a lot of smoke," his voice faltered for a second, and he stared out of the window, running a hand through his hair with a hard swallow. "I couldn't-"
But you didn't get to find out what exactly Carlos couldn't because the food arrived.
You ate the burgers in mostly silence, both of you more hungry than you knew from the long and stressful day. Burgers were absolutely the right call, and you told Carlos so as you sat, finally satisfied with a belly full of comfort food, picking off the last of your french fries. He seemed pleased with you, and you couldn't help but think how nice it was to have dinner with a man who was actively encouraging you to eat more, rather than questioning you for not choosing a salad. You told Carlos that, too.
"Food is important," he said it so simply, just a plain statement. You noticed he talked like that a lot, in relatively short sentences, all of which were perfect statements. He never seemed to invite contradiction or conflict, as if everything in his world was just simple facts. You couldn't help but find it addictive.
Once the food had been consumed Carlos rose without a word and collected the plates and glasses, neatly stacking them on a small table near the door.
"You don't have to do that," you started, standing to take the plates off him when you realised he was clearing up for you. Carlos turned, quite sharply, and met your gaze once more.
"I want to,"
There he went again, with those statements that you just couldn't argue over. You decided to let him have his way, and once he was done the pair of you retired back to the sofa.
"I'm sorry I don't really have anything to drink in here," you felt a little awkward, maybe it was the stubborn English culture kicking in that had trained an entire country to rely on copious amounts of alcohol at any social event.
"Cola is fine for us both, no?" You wanted to say no it was not, because your nerves were starting to return now you didn't have food to focus on and you would have quite liked a glass of wine or even a gin for a bit of liquid courage.
"Yeah, no of course it is," he had such a warm smile, you just wanted to be close to him.
"I would like to ask, why do you have your TV on always?" Part of you wanted to withdraw and lie, but he was staring at you with those wide eyes as if you held all the secrets he needed and before you could think you found yourself speaking honestly, for the first time in a while.
"I hate silence," you admitted "My head's always full, mind racing you know? Wherever I go I turn on the radio or the TV first thing and leave it on, it's just background noise really but it helps me drown out myself," you laughed awkwardly because you didn't quite know how Carlos would react to you telling him something quite personal, but he didn't laugh. He reached forward and placed a large hand on your forearm and squeezed lightly. When he leant back you could have sworn there would have been a burn mark in the shape of his hand on your arm.
"I understand,"
After you'd opened up to him it felt like part of the tension in the room had broken, and you found yourself relaxing again. He was still the Carlos you knew on the track, just as kind and funny and eager to please. Only now you were the sole subject of his attention. And you had to admit that whilst it was a little intense, you were loving every second.
The conversation flowed more naturally too, chatting about anything that came to either of your minds. It was easy and pleasant and it was only when he caught you stifling a yawn that the flow finally ceased.
"Are you tired?"
"No, I'm okay-"
"It's later than I was expecting," he acknowledged, nodding towards the clock on your bedside table that was reading nearly midnight. He stood despite your reasoning and you found yourself following him to the door. "This was really nice, but you need to sleep, to feel better,"
You knew where he was coming from and you agreed, but there was a strike of panic that suddenly shot through you as his hand closed around the handle door handle to leave.
"No, wait!" He dropped the handle as if it was electrified, that wide brown stare fixed on you, confusion and concern flashing across his features.
"I just don't think I want to be alone yet," you admitted to the floor, the sudden spike of fear that had shot through you was yet to subside and you could feel the icy cold shot of adrenaline making its way through your system, and not in a good way "Please?"
Your voice faltered and Carlos immediately stepped forwards, reaching to hold both of your upper arms as if to steady you.
"Are you okay, Y/N?" That did it, the shock of the day and the realisation of everything that had happened crashed into you with full force and for a second you felt your breath hitch. Your vision started to cloud as your eyes burnt, and you had to look away to allow yourself to swallow and try to blink it away. But it was too late, the lump had already formed in your throat and the moment you blinked you felt hot, wet tracks streak down your face. Words were clearly not going to happen for you so you just gritted your teeth and managed the smallest shake of your head.
"No, no, Cariño, don't cry," without hesitation Carlos pulled you even closer, allowing you to bury your face in his chest as he wrapped his arms around you and squeezed you just enough to provide the pressure you didn't know you needed. You instantly felt safe in his arms, like nothing could get to you when you were there. And it wasn't long with your forehead pressed against his sternum and several steadying breaths that you managed to regain control of yourself. Carlos didn't move a muscle aside from one hand gently rubbing your back, keeping you tight in the hug and not even flinching away from the contact until you managed to find the self-control to push yourself back, at which he immediately released you.
"Sorry," you mumbled, still staring at the floor. Then you dragged your fingers under your eyes and across your cheeks, perhaps a little harsher than necessary and managed to look at him. The expression on his face wasn't difficult to read, but it was confusing because he was staring at you as if the two seconds of weakness you had shown had completely broken his heart. "Dunno what came over me. Here," you moved back into the living space of the hotel room and threw him the remote control which he caught with ease "Do you wanna watch a movie or something?"
He nodded, not pushing you to talk which was good because the short burst of tears had done nothing but further tangle the mess in your head. Deciding that having to be dragged out of your car by Carlos and then have him subsequently watch you both throw up and cry within the space of only an afternoon, what remained of your dignity was now in tatters and so you climbed onto your bed without a second thought, too tired to care what he might think of you. He waited quietly, gently turning the remote in his hands as he watched you get comfortable on your side of the bed. You decided getting under the covers would be a step too far but opted for propping yourself up against the copious pillows behind you and stretching your legs out. Only when you stopped moving did he join you, sitting close, but not so close that he was touching you.
Within seconds you found that you had drawn your knees up to your chest, hugging them as you used to do when you were overwhelmed in your earlier years. You watched quietly as he flicked through the Netlfix options, squinting slightly to examine the titles. For some reason, you couldn't shake the panicked feeling that hit you when the Spaniard had gone to leave your room.
"Did I hurt you?" Your voice was small, and you did not appreciate the wobble in your tone. Carlos' attention was temporarily diverted from the television as you found him searching your face once more.
"Don't lie,"
"Well, it was a crash. You know how the G-force hits, the muscles get a little sore but I'm not hurt," the look on your face clearly said that you weren't buying it. "Y/N, I promise to you, okay? I have hurt myself more at the gym," the way his hand landed on your shoulder, right at the top, on your neck really, a thumb caressing your cheek so briefly you could have sworn it never happened, was just enough to convince you to drop it.
"Okay," he nodded and went back to picking the movie. You wished you could be like that, so calm and collected, so seemingly unfazed by the chaos surrounding him. You let him decide on the film, it was an action movie and you didn't even recognise the title but you didn't care. You just didn't want to be alone, you didn't want to dwell on the inevitable, but even as you stared non-focused on the sword-wielding heroes in front of you, you could feel it bubbling still.
"If I lose my seat because of this I deserve it," you said finally. The second the words were out of your mouth you felt lighter like your chest had finally been released and some of the weight lifted off. Something subconscious uncoiled within you.
"Drivers don't get fired for mistakes," he said like it was nothing.
"But it wasn't a mistake, I was told to push on the corner and I did,"
"You didn't plan to hit me, so it's a mistake, you're not gonna lose your seat,"
"No!" Finally, you thought, he responded to your worries with something other than total nonchalance. "You are so talented, Y/N, you're one of the best drivers on the grid. Look at you, you're fighting for the world championship in a midfield car - that's incredible. They don't wanna be losing you, and this is their fault anyway. So no more losing seats, okay? I don't wanna hear it," his eyes were blazing, burning right into yours and his cheeks were just starting to show a pale pink flush. Judging by the heat in your face, you were as red as a tomato. You were about to open your mouth to say, well, something, but Carlos beat you to it with a simple gesture forwards, and so you both turned and carried on watching the film in a slightly more tense, but still amicable silence.
You found yourself relaxing as the film went on. Carlos' silence was actually quite pleasant, as he seemed relaxed too, leaning back against your bed with casual attention on the movie, not frightened to laugh or gasp along with it as he pleased. Mirroring him was almost too easy, and you allowed yourself to stretch out once more and relax your shoulders. If Carlos noticed, he didn't say anything, and you appreciated that.
You weren't sure exactly when it happened, but he dropped the knee of the leg closest to you out to the side, causing it to knock gently against yours. And he didn't move away. The next thing you knew your legs were touching, all the way from your hip down to your ankle. It wasn't a cuddle, just a light contact, but it was nice. You couldn't help but feel calmer just by being in his presence. Before you could stop yourself you were leaning into his side, so your whole body was just pressed against his. He had an arm draped over your headboard, and you wondered if he would put it around you, but he never did, allowing you full control of the situation and the level of touch you wished to seek from him.
He was warm too, so warm, even in just a t-shirt. You supposed it was his Mediterranian blood. It was like having your own personal heater sat right beside you, a heater that was suddenly very still and had a wonderfully rhythmic breathing pattern. You found yourself naturally synching with his movements, and the film seemed to be quietening into the background.
You must have fallen asleep then because the next thing you knew you were waking up for the second time in a pitch-black room. You were sweating, your heart racing and your skin sticky and unpleasant, the only thing you wanted to do was remove everything from your body, instantly. You ripped the covers off and shimmied the sweatpants down your legs, kicking them quickly away from you and revelling in the way the cooled night air hit your legs. You were about to follow suit with your top when it occurred to you that you had not fallen asleep alone.
However, there was an eerie silence that blanketed you now. All it took was reaching a hand out to the other side of the bed to realise what your sinking heart already knew, Carlos was gone. You couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed, and actually quite embarrassed that he'd felt the need to sneak away from you. But the digital clock was showing it was close to 3am and you weren't even fully conscious, so you allowed yourself to flop back down and sleep off the rest of the night.
When you did wake up naturally once more, it was late in the morning. After scrolling through your phone for a bit, and finding yourself disappointed and actually quite annoyed that you hadn't even had so much as a text from Carlos, you decided to have a shower and take advantage of the all-day breakfast menu in the restaurant downstairs. It was only after your shower when you were rummaging around searching for something that you spotted a piece of paper folded and propped up against your bedside table.
The note was addressed to you and written in a familiar loping script.
You fell asleep and I didn't feel good to stay the whole night when you didn't ask me to, so I went back to my room. I hope it didn't upset you that I was gone, if I am to be so confident to hope you missed me!
I wish to thank you too for dinner last night. I wish I had been able to know you like that a bit more sooner. Perhaps you would like breakfast tomorrow? I will wait for you to wake up.
He'd written you a note. A real, old-school note and he'd signed it 'love'. You found yourself grinning like a schoolgirl, your heart racing and your face felt hot even though there was no one around. There was no point pretending, you thought to yourself, what was the point? You'd realised last night something was different and he made you feel good. Plus if you were about to go through a very challenging period with Aston Martin, and maybe even finding yourself losing a seat or transferring to a different team, then why didn't you deserve to have a bit of fun in the meantime?
You changed into a sundress that you knew was far too pretty for the restaurant in the hotel, and spent a little time fussing with your hair and makeup before you picked up your phone. It was still before midday, so you decided to take control for once, and sent off a one-word text to Carlos,
You: Brunch?
Liked this? Check out my masterlist here
Dear existing followers, I'm sorry it's YET ANOTHER new fandom!! Am still writing my Obvious fic and I'm planning to get Chapter 4 out in the next 1-2 weeks whilst I'm still on a break before I start rotations and shit hits the fan! Plus I have some spiderman content and a little James McAvoy thingy in the drafts...
But over exams, I managed to develop yet another hyperfixation, this time on Formula 1 (probably because there was tons of content to gobble up and distract myself from the horror that was 4th-year exams, because oh my god they were BRUTAL) and shortly after deciding that I don't hate the sport I grew up watching nearly every Sunday and not once appreciating, I very quickly collected a new person to obsess over.
Anyway, non-F1 followers meet Carlos. He is Spanish and sexy and in my opinion quite underrated. I think he's a really interesting person and gives a lot of layers to himself which to me just begs to be written about. So I wanted to get this off my chest and kick start back into writing with something that's chucking free dopamine at me and not giving me insane writer's block for now.
F1 followers/fans, this is my first F1 fic so please be nice. Undecided whether to leave this as a single or add in a second part with some smut as is my style. Input would be appreciated!! Either way, don't panic I defo have more ideas for Carlos and maybe some of the other drivers too so more content and definitely smut to come.
Also, standard disclaimer, this is real person fiction, but it is still FICTION. F1 fans don't take the Aston Martin/Imola track and turn shit too seriously, I didn't write it with accuracy in mind and I know realistically an Aston Martin car atm is not gonna be a championship contender but I love Track Dad!Seb too much. With Carlos, a full disclaimer is in my masterlist, but this is a work of fiction based on the personality he gives during his work. It's interpretation, not accuracy and out of respect to his current girlfriend, this is based in an AU where he is single.
Happy reading and I hope to be around for a wee bit again!
Rage and Love,
Le Gremlin xx
Forever taglist: @graysonmalfoy @inumorph @lokilvrr @bookgirlunicorn @thinkwritexpress-official @samandstuffworld @faeriedelalune-blog @elthanin-sive-blog-blog @ispendmoretimehere-blog @drakesfiance @allonesharingonebreath @storm-howlett @daneel-the-sister-of-castiel @groovy-lady
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f1incorrects · a day ago
Mick: Say no to drugs.
Max: Say yes to drugs.
Lance: It doesn't matter if you say yes or no to drugs, cause if you're talking to the drugs... then you're on drugs.
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ellalovesvettel · a day ago
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'Not my fault'
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sebunda · 14 hours ago
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the caption the photo the stats that’s some fucking sexy shit there
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cinnamonstroll · 2 days ago
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He went flying 🪂
Thanks @vettellorts
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izzyhands · 2 days ago
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i just liked the outfits okay
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vebsettel · a day ago
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AAAH they look so good
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tubbietommo · 17 hours ago
Aston really needs to spice up their game with the merch. I tried with the bucket hat propaganda and now their bucket hat is S-tier, the best of the best. But I can do only so much. Or pay me and I'll spice it up.
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theminimalisto · a month ago
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utwo · a month ago
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1951 Aston Martin DB2 Coupe
© r m sotheby’s
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tehtariks · 5 months ago
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seb and mick hugging lewis post-race ;___;
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f1incorrects · 2 days ago
Seb: Language, Lance.
Lance: Whom the sexual intercourse-
Seb: What the fuck-
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f1errari · 24 days ago
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2022 Imola Grand Prix pre race show
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sebunda · a day ago
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seb’s side profile>>>>>>
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cinnamonstroll · 2 days ago
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Seems like people were hating on lance for nothing again :) not like that's something new right
I expect some apologies
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acrosstobear · 23 days ago
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MICK SCHUMACHER and SEBASTIAN VETTEL make their way down the pitlane together, Seb holding the Haas umbrella over both of them, at the 2022 Imola GP
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formulahan · a month ago
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thecarchitecture · a year ago
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pedroacostas · 9 months ago
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SEBASTIAN VETTEL Hungary Grand Prix – 1 Aug 2021 ©Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images
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hyonibee · 4 days ago
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