It’s not just about going around in circles. By Viknesh Pillai
Mention F1 and chances are that most reactions would be that it is “a bunch of crazy guys going round and round in loud expensive cars at ridiculous speeds!”. But if you think that is all there is to take from the grand old sport of F1, you would be mistaken. Beyond the roar of engines and the smell of rubber, here are some valuable things F1 teaches us.
To Get Ahead, Everyone Needs A Team
The ones most unfamiliar with the sport always think F1 is about the drivers. While these guys get all the glitz and glamour, we have to remember that F1 IS A TEAM SPORT too, with points given to the teams at the end of each race. A good driver can do little if he’s stuck with a bad car for the season. And when it comes to the crucial pit-stops, it is the teamwork and practiced moves of the engineers that make saving those precious seconds extra important. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So that driver owes his continued success and all that comes with it to the combined efforts of all his team mates pulling together in the same direction and making everything run like clockwork.
We Could All Use A Little Help From Our Friends
Niki Lauda was unquestionably the best F1 driver in the mid 70s. But all of that nearly went up in flames at the 1976 German Grand Prix (GP) at the Nüburgring when Lauda’s Ferrari crashed on the third lap. Lauda was trapped and unable to extricate himself from the burning wreckage. This was compounded by fuel continuously spurting out and Lauda’s helmet having come off during this crash. In the end, he survived but not without suffering serious facial burns and inhaling toxic gases. Lauda subsequently revealed that another ten seconds (in the inferno) and he would have been dead. What prevented him from spending those ten seconds in the blaze was three of his fellow drivers jumping out of their cars to pull Lauda out of his. Lauda made it out alive of a horrific situation – when he really shouldn’t have – thanks to those around him. You might not be stuck in burning car. But it’s always good to recognise when you could use a bit of help from your friends.
Keep Going Even If You Think You Are Going Nowhere
Many of us might often find ourselves stuck in a rut. Like the laps of an F1 track, life becomes one dull round after another with each no less boring than the one preceding it. Often, there isn’t even a realistic end goal in sight. In a single GP, drivers could do as many as 70 laps before the race ends. Each one helps them monitor track conditions, gauge how their car is performing and keep track of other drivers’ performance. Imagine now if they thought all those laps as inconsequential. That would be a surefire way to lose the race. Similarly, even when we are consumed in the laps of life, each round can provide valuable lessons that help us whether immediately or in the long-term. So when it feels like you are going nowhere, remember that there is more than what you can see directly in front of you. Keep going, make the most out of it and you will come out the other side better for having gone through it.
Success Sometimes Means Doing What No One Else Is Doing
Conventional wisdom often tells us we should be like everyone else and do what they do, and not do what they don’t do. Conventional wisdom can only take us so far. Ayrton Senna was one of the greatest F1 champions. He probably serves as a life lesson unto himself. One of the things that Senna was known for was his ability to dominate the F1 track in rainy conditions. Most drivers don’t like such wet conditions and, early on, Senna was no different and was unable to win when the weather turned. To overcome this, he went back to his local karting circuit and would wait for the rain to come. And when it did, when every other driver headed for shelter, Senna would go into the rain and drive for hours. All of that time getting soaked in the rain meant that he became the best at it. So the next time you find yourself in opposition to others, think of Senna. It could be that everyone else is wrong and does not know what is good for you.
Everything Just Goes Better With Champagne
Who wouldn’t want to experience the joy of winning, the company of several beautiful women, and the adulation of many? Does it get any better than that? Probably not. But can you enhance it? Absolutely. And nothing says enhancing like champagne. So do as they do on the F1 podium. If you’ve achieved or won something, don’t just wave your arms in the air; uncork a bottle of champagne and spray it all over. If you’re having a party, don’t just make merry; (say it with me!) uncork a bottle of champagne and spray it all over. If you find yourself next to a beautiful woman, don’t just stand there quietly fancying her; (now you’re getting it!) uncork a bottle of champagne and spray it all over. Heck, if you find yourself holding a bottle of champagne, don’t just quietly open it and take a swig; (all together now!) uncork a bottle of champagne and spray it all over. You make “uncork a bottle of champagne and spray it all over” your mantra and your life will improve immeasurably.
More than just going round in circles, F1 has something to offer everyone. Of all the things great and good about it, it would be somewhat apt to end on this quote from Ayrton Senna: “You think you have a limit. And as soon as you touch this limit something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instincts, and the experience as well, you can fly very high”. Enjoy your F1 weekend!