What a Formula 1 qualifying lap can teach us about life

qualifying lap

I’ve never been to a Formula 1 Grand Prix, so I can only imagine the rush to all the senses.

What an F1 qualifying lap can teach us about life

Crowds wait for the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Austin, Texas

The sights: the colour, and the flags, and the blur as the cars whizz by almost too fast to be really seen. The sounds: decibel levels ripping at your eardrums as the engines roar. The smell: fuel fumes and burnt rubber, concession stands with doling out expensive grub to long queues.

A key component of each Grand Prix is the qualifying lap. Taking place a day before the main race, it’s an hour on the track to determine the positions on the grid come start time.

The rules have been revised in latter years, but traditionally in F1 everything was geared up to ensure the driver can hit one fast lap: tyres, fuel levels, weight of the car.

Then, a little less than 24 hours later, the drivers return to the cars and get in the groove for the marathon two-hour race.

One fast run to lay the foundations for the main event.

What has this got to do with the work?

Many of us approach life like we’re on a qualifying lap, putting in the slog to get ready for the main event. We’re not qualifying. The main event is here.