Racing drivers and evil - do you have it?
All the front running drivers I have known, have a very dark demeanor on track.
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When I’m watching a driver, the amount of confidence I have in them is directly related to how much simmering ill intent I can sense bubbling away below the surface. I think it is the x-factor that we all look for, but rarely speak about, when describing what makes a driver special.
Great drivers seem to be driven by a glorious kind of darkness. You can see it in how they start races, how they overtake and how they defend. They take their opponents to the limits, and often breach those limits themselves.
In the pit they are generally, however, as good as gold. The mask rarely slips, a notable exception being Max Verstappen, who has let rip on the press a few times and had a few confrontations in public.
Of course, you won’t hear people saying the top drivers are great because they are savage, or prepared to injure other people to win. But they are…
It is an unspoken truth in motor racing.
Great drivers look evil, but they aren’t really - they are just prepared to give themselves fully to what they love - racing
What about if I don’t have that evil? Does it mean I don’t have what it takes?
These are complaints I hear about drivers all the time, usually with a few more colourful words thrown in!
He just hasn’t got that killer instinct.
He’s just too nice.
She just waves the other drivers through.
He’s quick, but he lifts out whenever someone else gets close.
What it means is the driver isn’t evil enough, violent enough, too generous and unwilling to upset people.
Now, in everyday life if a person is generous, nice, non-confrontational and totally against violence then they are generally held in very high regard. In racing the exact opposite is true!
So when I’m working with drivers, especially ones who are already fast, I’m always looking for ways to help them bring out their dark side. That’s what it honestly boils down to, ugly as it seems!
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