Yes, my Opinion series is back and this time I talk about how racing drivers are actually just like anyone of us. They are humans too and make mistakes like we do. They just happen to have special talent, but that’s no excuse for the boo-boos they make…
People worship them as idols and they have great followings, simply for doing what they are best at. Racing drivers are akin to sportsmen, being skilled in a particular sport and having the talent to progress to the top levels. Formula 1 and NASCAR drivers are probably the most ‘worshipped’ racing drivers in the world, for being able to do what many others can only dream of.
Having met drivers from the different levels and types of motorsports – be it F1, karting, drifting or circuit racing – there’s just one thing to sum them all up – they are human too. They make mistakes, they say or do stupid things and they screw things up. When I read about Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs’ scandal with his sister-in-law, I was shocked yet not surprised – if you know what I mean.
They have dreams to chase, goals to pursue and they are some of the luckiest people in the world to be able to make more than just a living from their passion. I mean, look at the soccer players – they make so much money just by expertly kicking the ball around. I have soccer fanatic friends who tell me that they love soccer a lot and are truly envious of these world-class soccer players who are very good at what they like. Likewise, getting to paid to race professionally is not something that everyone gets the opportunity to do.
With people all over the world holding them in such high regard, there is a very significant level of moral behaviour expected of them and there is that pressure for them to be good all the time. But I come back to my point about them – be it a celebrity, sportsman or high-ranking government official, they are but human too and they do normal things like all of us do.
People like McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton get caught for speeding, while Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber kept his shoulder injury from the team towards the end of last season. I also remember Felipe Massa of the Ferrari team told me that when he is not racing or training, he does everyday things like spend time with his wife and son, or meet up with friends to simply hang out. Then the younger drivers like Jaime Alguersuari do the typical teenage thing like jamming with his band or shopping with the girlfriend.
Because they are such idols, they have a certain reputation to upkeep but yet we read about affairs and scandals all the time. Just look at Tiger Woods for example. But seriously, how many of them are genuine role models? They can continue being good at their game and performing to their best, but yet anything done indecently outside of the game can cost them their place in the sport.
Well, so they are human and they make mistakes which then come with larger consequences compared to the average person. I guess some fans will not be able to forgive certain boo-boos that they make, but they have to remember that all or most of them all are just like any one of us, except with extraordinary talent and skill. The only thing they have to be more cautious about is not to get caught!