Wheldon had really believed that something would come together for 2011, right until the moment that it didn't: "It was one of those off-seasons where I did believe that I was going to get a full-time ride. I had that confidence. But, you know, come the end of January, things hadn't panned out as I expected."
It was talking about some of those options that fell through with his friend Herta - the two of them had been the thick-as-thieves "Four Musketeers" with Franchitti and Tony Kanaan in their days at Andretti - that led to wheels turning, and Herta approaching him with the idea of teaming up for an Indianapolis 500 campaign come May.
"When he said that he would give me a fast race car, I never doubted that. We pretty much wrapped a contract up soon after the conversation and started working on this program with him ... They're a great group of people. It's not really like a partial program; it's like a full-time program with just one race because of the talent within the team. That shouldn't be underestimated by anybody."
Looking forward and with his contract now expired, as far as two-time Indy 500 winner is concerned it's clear that a return to competitive full-time racing is the only "happy ever after" he's interested in from this May fairytale.
But in the meantime, that second Borg-Warner Trophy will do very, very nicely indeed.