Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Grand Prix and Me

The Canadian grand prix last Sunday was full of thrills and spills, a weather delayed event with spectacular crashes and the dismissal of several experienced drivers. Heart stopping moments of sheer disbelief as a marshal fell on the track in front of a rapidly approaching racing car, it avoided him and as he went to stand… he slipped and fell again in front of another oncoming speeding racing car. To say that my heart was in my mouth would have been an understatement.

I’m passionate about F1 and if money was no object I’d fly around the world and attend each grand prix venue, in person, but alas my dream will have to stay on hold a while longer. Currently my favourite driver is Lewis Hamilton, I mean what’s not to like? He is young, handsome and driven.

I ignored the phone, made myself comfortable, settled down to view.

So what makes the F1 BRILLIANT? It’s a combination of things for me, the men are handsome and a rare breed because their minds work faster than most peoples; processing more information in a shorter space of time as they are not wired up the same way as mere mortals. And these men can multi-task like no other men.

The race got underway. It was amazing, a difficult and testing track, wild and appalling weather conditions and when visibility became too low the race was stopped and after a considerable delay, restarted under the guidance of a safety car, it was deployed no less than five times and as always the commentary was inane in places but most of the viewing was thrilling.

Weather dominated the proceedings, cars span and slammed into the wall, screwing up any schedule or planned team strategy. Rain is hazardous for the drivers, it’s like driving in swirling fog at break neck speed but then the safety car got to travel around the track a little longer than most of us spectators wanted to see it.

I was on the edge on my seat, the crashes were violent and that appeals to the gladiator within me, of course I don’t want the drivers to be hurt that would be heartless yet I’m often stunned when they get up and walk away, more angry that their race is over and any potential points lost, and in spite of that are probably less concerned about possible injury.

Strategies play a huge part in the current aspirations of any F1 driver and at times I wonder if the team strategy gets a bit too complex and ambitious, instead of letting the driver’s do their job, use their instincts and drive.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse (or is that better…) Jensen Button found himself shoved out at the back of the field in 21st place.

My heart sank I thought that any chance he had of closing the gap and winning was lost.

But I was wrong, it didn’t get him down. Jensen did his job… the one he loves and diligently worked his way back up through the field. Each time the commentator reported that Jenson had gained a place or two my heart skipped a beat until almost… in complete disbelief Jensen was back in 2nd place.

I promise you it doesn’t get much more thrilling than this and then he went up a gear he hounded the race leader (a younger dynamic driver) like a persistent terrier, he snapped at the leader’s heels. It was possible to taste the tension.

I was screaming at the telly. I had a ring side seat that allowed me to see how superb his driving was as I nearly held my breath when Jensen finally secured his winning place in dramatic fashion by driving out of his skin, in the final lap, just seven corners from the end. It was a stunning victory.

So what can I conclude?

If you really want something, I mean really, really want something you have to clear the obstacles, understand what you want to achieve and then just keep pushing, Jensen did, against what seemed to me, impossible odds.

Now here’s the rub: if I want to succeed as a published novelist I’m going to have to keep pushing, get over or around and passed the obstacles whatever they might be, however insurmountable and drive my ambition to win that coverted place.

Can I do this? I want it badly enough so it follows that I will keep pushing myself to the end. Will my dark clouds that had been hovering, suddenly disappear leaving nothing but endless blue skies. Will I win thorough? I do hope so….


  1. Great analogy Kay. Yes we need to keep pushing, even when we think we can't make it! Love it.
    Back to pushing!

  2. Small world, I'm passionate about F1 as well! I was an open book on race dates, places, points, etc. - and impressed several guys ;)
    Used to watch every single race before I started working and as I unfortunately had to work weekends, now I only watch it occasionally. Still loving it every time though!

    Loved how you drew your conclusions, the analogy was a great one that I really enjoyed. Deserves application in my life as well.

    And here's cheering you on!

  3. Another F1 passionista here. Great blog and great analogy. The F1 drivers can certainly teach us that focus, persistance and sheer grit can destroy those obstacles in the way to our goals and dreams. Not to mention a healthy dose of self belief.