Watching F1 this season, I’m struck by a question, well two actually if you count whether teammates are really teammates. I think Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have provided the definitive answer to that question. Thank you gentlemen. No, the question on my mind is what is it really that makes a race car driver great or allow them the opportunity to become great? Is it the mastery of all things driving (track, car, field, weather, and all other external factors) or is it more important to be predisposed to feel the flow of the race, the car, and the field? I think there are two distinct types of drivers. Let’s for a moment put individual personalities, manufacturer associations and biases, team identities aside, there are really only 2 in my opinion; natural ability and technical mastery. This is not an attempt at a scientific study or investigation simply my own observations. And let’s bring back teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to the discussion. Lewis Hamilton represents the natural ability, someone who feels the flow operates on instinct and gut feelings. Whereas his “teammate” Nico Rosberg is an example of the prototypical technical master type. Nico has historically been better at the venues where the turns are more technical, and where subtlety and nuance are often rewarded. I think the technical side can be learned, but you either have the natural ability or you don’t. And no matter how book smart you may be when everything else is constant the natural ability will give you the edge and put you over the top. Who is to say which is the better blueprint for greatness? I submit for your consideration the seminal movie which tackles this question head-on….
Disclosure: I am not a professional race car driver, crew member, team owner nor do I have any professional or formal association with any team. But I have a valid driver’s license. Just my two cents, gut feeling if you will.