Friday, November 03, 2006

The God walks away....

2006 Monza Grand Prix was the most decisive day in the history of Formula One. It was the day when the racing GOD, Michael Schumacher decided to step down from this reigning F1 career. It’s the day he announced his retirement as a F1 driver.

Schumacher, also popularly known as Schumi, has had a phenomenal career in racing. He is said to be statically the best pilot that F1 has ever seen. Over a monumental 16 year path, achieving 7 World Championship titles is indeed a treat for Schumi lovers.

Why am I suddenly writing about Michael on my blog? was the question I asked myself when I began writing about him. After all Michael is one of the lesser known mortals in the F1 cosmos. Very few people in F1 can claim that they know Schumi very well. Although several biographies have churned out on him over the years, but none of them claim to have known the genius better than before.

At this moment, I have begun realizing the importance of the higher power. By higher power I don’t mean that I have suddenly stopped being an atheist, but I mean the higher or the cerebral power. I have been putting off writing any posts since many days with a constant excuse of preparation for my entrance tests as well as to while away my time with reading or relaxation. But at the same time, somewhere in the back of my head, I began to realize the importance of focus, or motivation. I had totally lost touch with my moral & sensible neurons over the past years & I was relieved to see them in action again. Just like an old rusty engine regains its life, with a little bit of oiling & constant maintenance over the time.

So Schumi, with a legendary career in a highly unpredictable & heavily controlled sport like formula one, starting with nothing & achieving everything there was to achieve. It’s a pleasure to read Michael’s journey from his small hometown of Kerpen to the current heavenly status he has achieved. He denies that he is GOD, he gives it all to his luck & hard work, but what everyone misses all the time is, improvisation. There is nothing like improvising your performance on the basis of your past performances. We as humans have evolved through millions of years of constant improvisation, which we commonly know as mutation.

May it be genetic, personal, professional, or even intellectual improvisation, it works in all the cases. Charting Michael’s performance since 1991 to 2006, we can see how he has grown with the sport. How the discipline & focus has helped him to achieve something that race drivers in 1991 thought was impossible to achieve. Even Schumi in one of his interviews, when asked, if he ever idolized any of his peers or past F1 champions or legendary drivers, for which he promptly replied that it was beyond his imagination to even venture a thought in that direction. Yet in a few years, he went ahead, set & broke most of the records. Maximum pole positions, maximum wins, fastest lap timings on almost all the race tracks. That’s a feat the drivers nowadays dream to achieve. Schumacher hasn’t just reached the heavenly status in the F1 lands but has become a performance benchmark. It’s always been fun to watch him drive. But from the next season he will strictly be seen behind the scenes at Ferrari, the team he so dearly embraced during shaky times. It’s also been a very emotional experience to track Schumi’s career with the Red Barons. Anyone with a little know how of F1 & info about the happenings behind the scenes will appreciate the diligence & hard work that goes behind keeping the race car on the tracks ahead of the rest of the pack. When a driver comes on the podium from the end of the pack, it shows the dedication & urge, that inner drive to conquer.

I used the word “Conquer” because it readily symbolizes the temperament that the team has at any given race day. It’s not just seen during the races but the team works round the clock round the year to IMPROVISE on their past results.

The joy I get from watching the cars loaded with the most efficient components available in racing technology & the minds, hands & dedication that went behind making it run on the glistening asphalt cannot be easily summarized in words. Although only a few things can come close to that kind of experience these days. Like the feeling I get while gearing up for my tests, realizing a goal, formulating an idea & making it work in the best way I can. Seeing all this happen gives an euphoric pleasure.

At the same time, I also pretend not to show any feelings of regret or disappointment on my face on seeing the Formula One God step down from the world of racing. I never really followed Schumi’s driving during the races, because I was consumed by a few other lesser mortals, who were best in their own ways. But I somehow always knew that Schumi was the best.

A salute to the GOD – Michael Schumacher.
I will always miss that red helmet in that red machine.

Song for the moment – Hero by Nickelback


Alok said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alok said...

Hey Raunak,
To be frank, I did not read this write-up completely.

Just wanted to say this one thing: Your god is back, but not in a red helmet this time! :)