At the beginning of this year, I started following Formula 1 motor racing.
This came as a big surprise to my dear wife Jennifer, to my family, and to those that I confided in – because I have largely kept it my dirty little secret, until now that is!
Why was it a surprise? Because I’m no way a rev-head. I’ve shown zero interest in motor sports until I began watching a documentary series on Netflix called Drive to Survive, which was a series following the F1 circuit for an entire season.
After watching this doco I got hooked.
And I mean obsessively hooked.
For the whole year I’ve watched every practice session, every qualifying session, every race. I listen to F1 podcasts. I keep up to date with all the latest news on the F1 app. I am a fan.
Me, who drives a sedate station wagon that’s done 250,000kms and is 12 years old.
Me, who doesn’t know how to top up the windscreen wiper fluid.
Me, who would have to call the NRMA if I got a flat tyre.
Pathetic, isn’t it?
But I’ve become fascinated with Formula 1 because it is heightened drama. The stakes each race are huge. The egos each race are huge. The margins between winning and losing are wafer thin. The technology is mind-bogglingly sophisticated.
And then there’s Lewis Hamilton.
Lewis Hamilton is seven times World Champion and this year he’s going for his eighth title. If he gets it, he will be the greatest driver in Formula 1 motor racing history.
His nemesis is a young up-and-coming Dutch driver named Max Verstappen. Hamilton drives for Mercedes and Verstappen drives for Red Bull. One makes cars and the other makes putrid energy drinks.
You can tell who I’m rooting for.
Lewis Hamilton is humble, a sweet guy, and could well become one of the world’s greatest ever elite sportsmen. It all comes down to the final few races of the season. At the moment Max Verstappen is leading him by six points.
I watched this morning a replay of last night’s Turkish Grand Prix. I won’t go into the details, but there was a crucial moment in the race when Lewis Hamilton was instructed by his race director over the team radio to pit-stop and get a new set of tyres fitted.
Hamilton didn’t want to. He wanted to keep going and finish the race on his original set of tyres. Initially, he refused to follow his race director’s instructions. He had the chance of finishing close to Verstappen.
But a few laps later when his race director insisted, Hamilton acquiesced and went into the pits, had his tyres changed, and when he came back out onto the track again his new tyres weren’t working for him and he ended up coming fifth in the race, when he could have come third.
Hamilton, unusually for him, was furious. He said over the team radio that he should have followed his gut. Read about it here…
You hear this often – following or trusting your gut. People call it intuition. And yes it is a form of intuition. I call it Cognitive Intuition – because it is intuition based on expert knowledge.
In making my film PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System, I figured out that not all intuitions are the same. I came up with the concept that there are four types of intuition:
If you want to learn more about this, go read my book PGS, available on Amazon.
PGS the Book
Lewis Hamilton is an expert driver. He called upon his expert knowledge to make a gut call. An intuitive call. As it turned out, he was right.
Most gut decisions are…
Great example of going with your gut, Bill. Look what happens when you don’t.
I go with my gut for everything now. I too (as have we all!) have learned that it’s a mistake not to go with your gut.
A small story – yesterday on my daily walk I found a debit card on a local beach. There were only three other people on the beach – three lads. My intention was to take the debit card to the police station but as I neared the lads my gut told me to ask them if they knew the the person whose card it was. They did – of course! They’d seen the owner of the card at the beach earlier and, with that, the guy appeared! I went over to him and asked him if his name was Michael and he said yes – I asked him if he’d lost something and he told me he’d lost his debit card. With that I handed over the card – he was so grateful and thanked me effusively. I told him he needed to thank the three lads as they were the ones who knew him – that I was going to take the debit card to the police station. He did exactly that! Everyone was happy!
Cheers – Jenny
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That’s a great story Jenny! Aren’t you an angel!! ❤️
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Thanks Jenny! Good to see you still check the blog – thank you!
Another hobby, Bill, another deep interest? So again, you’ve managed to stretch the day to 25 hours to fit everything in?! Incidentally, I’ll have to set you up to meet my nephew, who for a number of years has been the FI correspondent for a prominent Danish newspaper, and seems to know EVERYONE and EVERYTHING F1! Sweetly, every 2nd year when he’s in Melbourne covering the race, he takes some days off to come up to visit me, and luckily for me he enjoys eating out at THE best places, so I get treated!! Enjoy COVID freedom and love to Jennifer too.
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I’d love to meet him Britta. Please do see if we can meet. Yes, it does eat into my time a bit but I find it very relaxing and it is a wonderful distraction from my more interior work. Hope you too are well and staying sane throughout this trying period. Much love from Jen and me.
Love it when life surprises and delights us with a new found interest that becomes a passion. That means we’re still in a state of curiosity, allowing in new experiences. Alive to life and all its flavours. I’d hate to ever be shut down to that.
A friend of mine said years ago, how tragic it was that all her parents had to discuss were the new brass bathroom fittings. I fear that same friend is now home discussing brass bathroom fittings.
Haha, so true Deb! Unfortunately Jennifer doesn’t share my newfound passion, however she dutifully listens to my breathless post-race debriefs and now knows enough about the sport to ask sensible questions and engage enough for me to sometimes believe that she might one day stay up past midnight to watch a race live with me.
Yes, isn’t life just so much fun, when you can discover a whole new world to enjoy?
Hi Bill, Really good to know that you are as obsessed about Formula 1 as I am!
I was researching other bloggers on WordPress and I came across this post where you briefly delved into how you became suddenly hooked onto F1 through Drive to Survive and the reason I was doing this was because I am looking for people to interview as part of the documentary I am making on the fans of Formula 1.
Something that I must confess is that I live on the Isle of Man meaning that if you were interested in being interviewed then it would have to be over Zoom but do let me know if you are interested!
This is a really good post by the way!
Hi Owen, thanks for getting in touch. Yes I’d be interested- but this is only my first year of being a fan. If want to know more about me, go to http://www.billbennett.com.au. And contact me back on firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!