A song and a dance or two when the pressure gets to you...

A song and a dance or two when the pressure gets to you...

With exactly six days to go for the eighteenth race on a packed Formula One calendar, the second Indian Grand Prix, anxiety levels are high up the charts.

Given the fact that the Buddh International Circuit is a mere two years old, the drivers aren’t familiar with the 5.14-km track yet and hence are frantically headed to work with simulators, straight from the Korean Grand Prix to see how the track plays out.

Simulators may help drivers replicate and experience near-identical track conditions but nothing compares to what one learns on the tarmac. As is always the case with a new track, drivers will have their thinking caps on, almost as if to try and uncover the secrets it holds.

Permutations and combinations on how a track might play up takes up much of a driver’s and his team’s time ahead of the race. That is something that can pile on pressure ahead of the race and in turn affect their performance during it. However, drivers have come up with ways to relax and remain in the race.

Formula One drivers, some more so than others, have a reputation of being hotheads. Afterall, when you’re bolting down a straight with your speedometer reading a speed-limited 320 kmph while your team principal continues to ask of you to push harder... you push. While everything is going according to plan and there is still some tarmac left, you come across one of those annoying backmarkers, swinging side to side for no particular reason and holding you up. You are bound to lose your cool.

Drivers are under immense pressure, and more often than not, the state of the driver is as important as the condition of his car. Every driver has his own ways of remaining in a zone ahead of the race so as to not be affected. Some are always on earphones, swinging away to the latest numbers, while some prefer to sit in a dim-lit corner with an eye on the car.

Walking past a team garage clearly shows how teams too have their own ways of working. The Red Bulls, known to be quite the party animals, have heavy numbers blasting out of their garage. Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes on the other hand has a Symphony playing with the volume on ‘mellow’.

Before the start of the Grand Prix in Korea, Vettel and Webber were seen going gaga over the ‘Gangnam Style’ with its creator Psy at their team building.

During race breaks too, teams are known to pack their bags and get away to exotic locations so they can focus on the work at hand when they do arrive at the track.
F1 is as much won in the mind as it is on track afterall.

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