I’ve thought for a while about what I wanted to write after Sunday’s British GP. I could write about Lewis winning his first race in a while, or about the crowds going absolutely bonkers for the new generation of British drivers (hello George Russell, hello Williams, it was GREAT to see you in Q3 again, that was an absolutely stunning drive!). I could also write about THE CRASH. But instead, I would like to write about bias.
The Formula 1 Austrian GP wasn’t as spectacular as we had hoped (admit it, we were all praying for a bit of rain!), but it was an exciting weekend nonetheless.
First things first: Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen. His victory was clinical, but we shouldn’t forget that this is the first time Max has had a real shot at the title, and he is leading the championship for the time in his career. The way he handles that enormous pressure is impressive. What a drive, what a mindset!
Well, people, we’ve got ourselves a championship battle! This weekend’s Formula 1 French GP was surprisingly exciting. No safety cars, no DNFs, not even a yellow flag, and yet most of us were on the edge of our seats. After a small mistake saw Max Verstappen lose P1 to Lewis Hamilton, Max managed to successfully undercut Lewis by pitting one lap earlier and putting in one hell of an outlap. But this is LH, so we all knew this fight was far from over. Under pressure from Lewis, Max pitted again, leaving him with 19 laps to make up 18 seconds. It was Max who crossed the finish line first this time, after a truly amazing drive, overtaking Lewis with only one lap to spare. This was a massive drive by Max, but Lewis managing to match Max’s lap times for quite a while on much older tyres was equally impressive.
The season that nearly wasn’t.
The season started on the 3rd of July in Austria. 71 laps around the Red Bull Ring would see the beginning of a season very different to what we’ve seen before and will hopefully ever see again. The season was due to kick off in Australia but as teams arrived and numerous mechanics tested positive for corona virus, the decision to cancel was made and a revised calendar was launched. With Covid-19 taking its grip around the world a huge change to not only the calendar but also the protocols was necessary to ensure the remaining races could go ahead as safely as possible.
Four years ago, Romain Grosjean would have been dead. Let that sink in for a minute. Romain Grosjean suffered what would have been a fatal accident during yesterday’s #F1 #BahrainGP, had it not been for the introduction of the HALO prior to F1’s 2018 season. And a little more than one hour later the drivers were back in their cars, reaching speeds upwards of 350 kph. All of them credited the HALO for saving Romain’s life. A few things stood out to me, from a resilience point of view.
An exciting Formula 1 Turkish GP yesterday!
Racing Point’s Lance Stroll magnificently snatched pole on Saturday, only to mess it up during the race. Of course his tyres graining almost straight out of pit lane didn’t help but he seemed to crack under pressure, ending up P9.
With 4 laps to go, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas said he wished it was less. Can’t say I blame him. With a total of at least 6 spins, being lapped by his teammate and a P14 result, maybe the prospect of Lewis snatching the championship (and becoming the most successful F1 driver in history) got the best of him on Sunday.
After working tirelessly for almost two years with Williams Racing, he was finally en route to points this weekend at the Imola GP. And then… He crashed. By himself. Behind the safety car.
He was clearly devastated, as were most Formula 1 fans watching, since pretty much everyone is rooting for him and Williams to fight their way back to the top. But research shows that, for people who operate from a growth mindset, being more upset after making a mistake actually leads to a superior performance the next time around. It has to do with the way the brain processes mistakes. Instead of focusing solely on the negative emotion associated with the mistake, the brain quickly shifts its focus towards feedback about how to improve.
Let’s talk about Lewis Hamilton.
‘It’s only because he’s in the best car.’
Just a few choice words from some Formula 1 ‘fans’ after Lewis secured his 92nd win this Sunday during the Portuguese GP, an all-time record. Lewis has won more than 1/3rd of all GPs in which he’s competed. And he’s done so with multiple teams, driving for both Mercedes and McLaren. He did all this, while fighting against prejudice and outright racism, as so pathetically demonstrated by spectators wearing blackface during pre-season testing in 2008. That same year, a website dedicated to hating Hamilton was launched (and thankfully also taken offline), which contained gems like these:
Nico Hulkenberg! He bossed it yesterday, managing to secure P8 for Racing Point F1 Team during the Formula 1 Eifel GP, after starting P20.
His incredible performance is influenced by multiple factors. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention skill. There is no way you can pull off going from coffee in Cologne at 11 AM to qualifying on the Nürburgring at 3 PM if you aren’t a highly skilled and talented driver.
A slightly controversial F1 analysis this time! For those who missed it, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas won the Russian GP at Sochi Autodrom this weekend, after Lews Hamilton received two 5-second penalties for practice starts outside the designated area. After his win, Valtteri famously said ‘To whom it may concern, f*** you.”
This is something we’ve heard him say before, during the 2019 Australian GP. But this time many people felt he was being overconfident, since he most likely wouldn’t have won if it hadn’t been for those two penalties.