To have confidence in your own abilities in racing is key. Being confident actually improves you as a racer. It’s a balancing act, some drivers are too confident, and make stupid mistakes because they think they are invincible. But more common is the lack of confidence, this is the racer that is afraid of making a mistake, and because of that makes a mistake, like me at neo for example. I think it’s different to choking, like some people enjoyed making fun of me for. I didn’t choke, which is basically stopping autopilot and beginning to think about everything you do, which leads to a complete collapse of whatever you were doing. Next time you are walking, start thinking about every muscle you use and don’t do anything on autopilot, you will find that you can’t even walk. No, I didn’t choke, I made one mistake in the last 5 minutes of the race, but I would argue I made it because I lack confidence. I should have been thinking yes, I just caught and passed Savoya, fuck that guy I’m gonna make the main now, and then just kept on focusing on driving. Instead, I though, wow I’m bumping up now, I have to avoid messing this up, Savoya is pretty fast, and I proceeded to be afraid of making a mistake while driving. No confidence = no luck.
Repetition fuels confidence, if you are doing something for the first time, you can’t be very confident, but if you have done something over and over hundreds of thousands of times successfully, you should be quite confident in getting it right. But that’s not it. You also need success. You need success to build up your confidence, specially if you are not naturally a confident person.
What confidence does for you is it eliminates doubt, and reduces the risk of mistakes. You simply do your best, hit the gas with confidence and go for it. It makes a huge difference. My best race is usually the main, and the reason is that in the main I am confident. I made it in, I’m happy, I just do my best. If I want to improve in the future I need to build up my confidence, which has been decimated over the past few years. It’s almost like I need to mentally trick myself into being confident, sort of tell myself “I got this”, even though in reality I know I don’t, I need to get myself to think I do.
How many people know that in 2004 I TQed 2 rounds of qualifying at the Euros, 2006 I had a 7 second lead in the Worlds semi final, 2007 I had the fastest lap of the race at the Euros, I guarantee I would have been 3rd without my fucking bodyshell falling off, 2008 I began making my own car…I was making my way up there, so why can’t I do it again now?
So, talent we already covered, not got any of that, I need skills and confidence, what else?
You need to have some fun. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, the downward spiral will keep sinking deeper. Take a break. Go out and run a car with the intent of having fun instead of worrying about lap times. Go bashing. Run a car until the wheels break off of it. You may learn something outside the box that you wouldn’t on the track, yet still be able to apply this knowledge to the track. That’s how you gain confidence. If the only reason you drive anymore is because it’s your job (both as a racer and a developer of a car), then you’ve already lost.
Jose: I just tell you a story on why italians didn`t have a single World Champion in Formula One after Alberto Ascari, yet the italians are good rivers, don`t you agree ?? The story goes like this: AN italian, is leading the race, be it arturo Merzario or whoever, it does not matter. Comes one of the few last laps. The guy sees himself on the podium, as a winner. he lets his eyes go around to pick one of the grid girls there greeting the winner and chooses the one he is taking to his motorhome to f**k for the night. He is full of extasy, the guy behind him, be it Mika or Kimi, that does not matter. sees that the italians mind wanders, and passeshim in the first possible turn. The Finn chooses the chick ONLY BEING ON THE PODIUM… Which one you will be, The Italian or the Finn ?? Stop giving eckscuses, just race…