That’s what I thought of the results of Saturday’s race at the Hungaroring, near Budapest. My favorite driver, Lewis Hamilton, won the race, with Team Lotus drivers completing the podium – Kimi Raikkonen in 2nd and Romain Grosjean in 3rd. One of the many things I love about Formula One is that your team essentially consists of two drivers who are part of the same “family” competing against each other – as well as the rest of the field – all season long. As much as you may like or respect your teammate, your goal of course is to beat him, which can create some intense situations. Would you be willing to take the fight to your family? And at what cost? It reminds me of the quandry of Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, hesitant to battle against his family and friends, although it was the right thing to do.
We saw an example of this in Hungary when Grosjean tried to pass teammate Raikkonen toward the end of the race on Turn 1, after Raikkonen exited pit lane (see photo). Raikkonen, who is not called “The Iceman” for nothing, coolly blocked his teammate to prevent the pass, although his efforts almost caused both cars to crash. With nerves of steel he forced RoGro’s hand, knowing that it was his duty, his swadharma, to try and beat his teammate, just as it was his teammate’s duty to try and outperform the more experienced Raikkonen. There was none of the Arjuna wishy-washy stuff (although to be fair I’d consider both Team Lotus drivers to be righteous Pandavas), just pure conviction in taking the action that was necessary in the moment. It was awesome.
May we all be as certain of our duty as Team Lotus, and may all our chariots be Formula One cars.