Lewis Hamilton went down a long way in my estimation yesterday. For sulking afterwards … really. Vettel went up for not ruining Rosberg’s day by doing anything rash.
Lewis was right to make a race happen in my view, but he left it way too late and probably knew it. Anything else is unreasonable to expect from a world champion. And there was nothing unfair or dangerous.
But did Hamilton really think that a driver like Vettel would risk an accident that would end his own race for the sake of second place over third whilst killing someone’s hard earned season, indeed career long, aspiration. There was no win likely, no points that mattered. Vettel has far too much understanding of that end of season pressure and had respect for a fellow competitor.
Mr Selfish and Mr Selfless? Neither is true.
Having raced competitively, albeit in karts, you are there to win and nothing less is ok. But not at any price.
The respect for and of your colleagues is a vital part of safe racing. Fair racing is fun racing. In the last race of a season, the tension of holding on or losing it, until you get round the final corner, is incredibly and unpleasantly exciting. I’ve done both in the final race of a long season. Held on and not held on. You have to have 100% concentration on your own line, your perfect lap every lap, ignoring all others. The niggling and distracting thoughts are there: of a technical problem or what some other so and so might do that causes an accident and takes you off.
But if you are a bad loser, or disrespectful on the track, you will lose whatever you win. Even when you are the only driver, it’s a team sport and the competitors are all part of the wider team. Respect results in everyone performing to their best, in the satisfaction of genuinely winning – that satisfaction isn’t just internal, it’s the enjoyment you share with other racers.
And yes, the races ended by technicals or any bad refereeing are hugely demotivating. Enough that if you feel the racing isn’t fair you stop.
If you can’t share someone else’s success without sulking, then you might be a winner, but you haven’t got the champion’s mentality.
Respect from colleagues, the right equipment and a fair system – that’s what most people need at work too. Is that what you foster at work? In your sports? In your kids?