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How Many Drivers Believe They're the Best?


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#1 Group B

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 19:38

Simple question, of the current grid, which drivers do we think genuinely believe they are as good or better than any of their competitors? With di Resta gone the only one I'd put money on is Fred, though Vettel are Lewis may well qualify. Who else; Maldonado? Button?



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#2 InSearchOfThe

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 19:49

You'd think Kimi believes he can hang or beat any of the top 3. VET,ALO,HAM.

 

Also Bianchi strikes me like one who doesn't lack confidence.



#3 P123

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 19:54

No idea.  Pretty much all of them.


Edited by P123, 20 December 2013 - 19:55.


#4 noikeee

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 19:58

Almost all of them.

 

Exception for guys who've been soundly beaten like Massa, in which case they'll think they're the 2nd best in the world. Special extra exception for Max Chilton who can't be that delusional.



#5 Group B

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:02

You'd think Kimi believes he can hang or beat any of the top 3. VET,ALO,HAM.

 

Also Bianchi strikes me like one who doesn't lack confidence.

 

Of course, yes, had a blank and forgot Kimi. He often strikes me as most confident and comfortable of all.



#6 kimister

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:04

I certainly remember Kimi said in one of his interviews that none of drivers would be here (in F1 ) if they didn't believe they are the best.



#7 SpartanChas

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:05

Button? Really? 

 

I don't know really. If I had to pick, Alonso.



#8 kimister

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:06

Of course, yes, had a blank and forgot Kimi. He often strikes me as most confident and comfortable of all.

 

Yeah, I also get that feeling always that Kimi has an incredible self-confidence, not particularly in his work but as a person...



#9 SophieB

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:10

Last year, F1 Racing asked Jenson Button something along these lines, if he thought he was the best driver. He paused and thought a bit before saying that though it may sound potentially very arrogant, in his view, *all* of the drivers believe this, as that self belief is necessary to spur them on.

I am sorry I don't have that issue any more to check his actual words. That's as accurate as I can make it, but it's bound to be wrong somewhere.

#10 BRG

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:11

All of them of course.  Better question would be how many would actually say that publicly?



#11 ExFlagMan

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:14

Those that don't never make past club level.

Edited by ExFlagMan, 20 December 2013 - 20:14.


#12 ExFlagMan

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:14

Those that don't never make it past club level.

#13 Iranie

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:15

I certainly remember Kimi said in one of his interviews that none of drivers would be here (in F1 ) if they didn't believe they are the best.

 

All of them. Kimi clarifies: "Mu-haa, I mean everybody thinks they are the best in Formula 1 otherwise is probably wouldn't baa point to be here."


Edited by Iranie, 20 December 2013 - 20:15.


#14 Nobody

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:18

I'd say Kanye West thinks he's the best F1 driver (if not of all time)



#15 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:24

You've only got to re-listen to Webber and Button's team radio upon their maiden win/titles to see how much ego is involved in even the most affable of F1 drivers. These guys are ego maniacs and no amount of being beaten will convince them they aren't the best  :)



#16 sennafan24

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:48

I think there might be a tiny bit of doubt in the minds of those mid-field drivers who have not experienced a drive in a top team.

 

The same for guys like Massa who have gone from a top team, to a mid-field team (seemingly)

 

Lewis and Alonso I think believe they are, the former seems to take great pleasure in how he performed against Alonso as a rookie, and does not seem to be troubled by Nico, even stating last year that "he was not worried by him" I think Lewis knows how gifted he is.

 

Alonso just comes across as a torture artist with his 2012 campaign, a sort of "I can do this without the best car" attitude, and his bewilderment when Seb/RB beat him, showed how much self-entitlement Alonso felt he had (and for that year I felt it was justified)

 

Kimi? Probably does not think about it that much, but probably is not in awe of any other driver as his better, so take that how you like.

 

Seb? I am not sure, there is something about him, he is confident, no doubt, but he does not radiate self-belief like the other 3, that could be because he is very secure mind. I think he knows how good he is (and he is very good) but I get the feeling he might not be 100% he is the best, or 100% he is not.

 

Just my opinion.


Edited by sennafan24, 20 December 2013 - 20:49.


#17 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 20:53

They should all think they are the best, and that were stars and Moon aligned they would be able to dominate as Sebastian are currently doing.

 

:cool:



#18 Wanderer

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 21:23

There's a difference in believing to be among the best and believing to be better than the rest. 

 

I have the impression that Alonso and Hamilton think they're better than anyone but the other. Maybe by now they include Vettel as well but I'm not so sure. 

 

Concerning Vettel I think he has a more Fangio-like approach to it: "You must always strive to be the best, but you must never believe that you are", which I think is a great attitude to have.



#19 ollebompa

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 21:46

All of the WDC's i'd say. Excluding Seb, he seems to me very different. As if he has accepted, what others seem to have difficulties doing, that winning F1 will never be a one man job. Having a bigger belif that those around him will do their part, if they get to do it their own way.(Im just speculating here, but it's a feeling i have)



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#20 Bloggsworth

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 21:54

All of them, what a silly question. I remember being at Chris Steele's collecting an FF engine and Peter Hull wandered in and in an incredulous voice said "D'you know who's got the effing GRD F3 drive? Bloody Alan Jones! He couldn't drive a greasy stick up a dog's arse..."



#21 scheivlak

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 22:02

Button? Really? 

 

 

“As a driver I think I am the best on the grid. If I have the equipment to win I will win, whoever my competition is. I've no worries."

Jenson Button - BAR driver, June 2004

 

http://atlasf1.autos...0/elizalde.html



#22 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 22:37

I think there might be a tiny bit of doubt in the minds of those mid-field drivers who have not experienced a drive in a top team.
 

Seb? I am not sure, there is something about him, he is confident, no doubt, but he does not radiate self-belief like the other 3, that could be because he is very secure mind. I think he knows how good he is (and he is very good) but I get the feeling he might not be 100% he is the best, or 100% he is not.
 
Just my opinion.


Mr does a No.1 sign with finger every time he wins? Mr disobey team orders to win? Again, Seb comes across as affable and charming as any with the media but see his face before getting into the car on the grid? He is seriously driven and determined.

#23 sennafan24

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 22:47

Mr does a No.1 sign with finger every time he wins? Mr disobey team orders to win? Again, Seb comes across as affable and charming as any with the media but see his face before getting into the car on the grid? He is seriously driven and determined.

I would not disagree there.

 

I am just saying he does not come across like he thinks he is better than the other drivers on pure talent, he always makes reference of a team effort for example. Lewis and Alonso usually talk about their own individual ability from what I read.

 

I do not believe he thinks Lewis and Alonso are better drivers, but I do not think 100% its fixed in his head he is better than them.

 

Again pure observation, which is what this thread in drawn from.



#24 Morbus

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 02:38

I'd say all the top drivers think they're the best, but they just lack some humble soup. I don't think all drivers think they're the best, because that's just a generalization and there are definitely exceptions. Ask Perez, for example. Ask Di Resta, Sutil, Grosjean, basically 90% of the mid-to-back-of-the-field drivers think they still have to work to be the best driver. Unless they are total morons, like Maldonado. He probably thinks he's the best, and that's why he won't evolve and change. Now Grosjean? Hulkenberg? Kovaleinen? I don't think they will believe in all their heart that they are better than the likes of Alonso and Hamilton and Vettel. They probably do believe they are better than them in SOME aspects of racing, no doubt, but not everywhere. I mean, only the very best, those who have proven themselves, and a few others think they are the best. Not everyone...



#25 f1RacingForever

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 03:15

Alonso and Vettel. I think Hamilton is more humble than most give him credit for.



#26 f1RacingForever

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 03:17

You've only got to re-listen to Webber and Button's team radio upon their maiden win/titles to see how much ego is involved in even the most affable of F1 drivers. These guys are ego maniacs and no amount of being beaten will convince them they aren't the best   :)

Everyone gets excited but you really think deep down Mark really feels he his better than Vettel?



#27 krapmeister

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 05:10

Everyone gets excited but you really think deep down Mark really feels he his better than Vettel?


Probably in 2009 yes - but I'd say serious doubts started creeping in after 2010. And he pretty much admitted that he wasn't as good as Seb, Fernando etc in Brazil this year.

Edited by krapmeister, 21 December 2013 - 09:22.


#28 SpaMaster

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 06:41

Simple question, of the current grid, which drivers do we think genuinely believe they are as good or better than any of their competitors? With di Resta gone the only one I'd put money on is Fred, though Vettel are Lewis may well qualify. Who else; Maldonado? Button?

Oh come on, "though Vettel and Lewis may well qualify"? I would say lot of drivers think they are as good or better than others. Alonso, Vettel, Raikkonen and Hamilton would definitely be feeling that. Some in the younger generation may not feel they are the best right now, but I am sure they believe they would become as good with time. I suspect the list includes Hulkenberg. Some that are even younger are still waiting to discover themselves and are hoping they would be among the best - Ricciardo, Bianchi, Bottas.

 



#29 sopa

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 08:35

Almost all of them.

 

Exception for guys who've been soundly beaten like Massa, in which case they'll think they're the 2nd best in the world. Special extra exception for Max Chilton who can't be that delusional.

 

I disagree about "almost all of them". Even the likes of Gutierrez can't be that delusional.

 

I think we are confusing a few things here. If you are at the top sport, you have to be very realistic about your abilities. If you are not, you end up crashing and making mistakes, trying too hard to "match the best", like Maldonado did in 2012. Young drivers often say that "they have  lot to learn from their experienced team-mates", like Bottas said about Massa. It is being realistic. They know, they are not the best, but they also know, they have the ability to improve. Grosjean also said he learnt a lot from Raikkonen and as a result improved in 2013. In 2012 he was probably delusional and ended up crashing.

 

And I think this is the important differentiator. They can't be delusional to believe they are really the best. If you ask drivers, most of them say Alonso or Vettel (or Hamilton) is the best. Like we saw in recent thread. But what they can do, is to believe they can be better than what they currently are. They can improve on whatever shortcomings they have.


Edited by sopa, 21 December 2013 - 08:36.


#30 sopa

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:42

“As a driver I think I am the best on the grid. If I have the equipment to win I will win, whoever my competition is. I've no worries."

Jenson Button - BAR driver, June 2004

 

http://atlasf1.autos...0/elizalde.html

 

Button was more immature and stupid (to put it bluntly) back in 2004. But during 2010-2012 I am pretty sure he accepted that Hamilton was faster than him over one lap and believed he could make up the difference in other ways, which sometimes worked, but often not.

 

Of course many young drivers can claim "oh I am among the best", because if they are beating the team-mate, they may not have a convincing counterargument "why not?". But such arrogance is not what drives you forward. What drives you forward and really enables to get to the top is belief that you can be better and improve and that you are not complete. Vettel is a good example here.



#31 boldhakka

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:47

I think the question is ill-framed and most professional drivers don't think in those terms anymore once they get out of Karting. I.e once they hit a learning curve or a change in regulation that doesn't suit them in some series, they realize that the question is multi-faceted and that there's no single "best" driver. They quickly move on to more measurable goals, which include getting the best out of the machinery, beating team-mate, putting in the hours, etc. 



#32 sopa

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:57

I think the question is ill-framed and most professional drivers don't think in those terms anymore once they get out of Karting. I.e once they hit a learning curve or a change in regulation that doesn't suit them in some series, they realize that the question is multi-faceted and that there's no single "best" driver. They quickly move on to more measurable goals, which include getting the best out of the machinery, beating team-mate, putting in the hours, etc. 

 

I think this is very well said. :up:



#33 Nemo1965

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 12:33

I remember Keke Rosberg saying: 'I always thought I was the best driver in the world... and then I got Alain Prost as a teammate.' And another one; Jody Scheckter once said: 'I used to think that I was the best driver in the world. Now I am think I am the smartest.'

 

That was, ofcourse, around the time he won the world championship against Villeneuve the older...



#34 Arn

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 20:10

I think the question is ill-framed and most professional drivers don't think in those terms anymore once they get out of Karting. I.e once they hit a learning curve or a change in regulation that doesn't suit them in some series, they realize that the question is multi-faceted and that there's no single "best" driver. They quickly move on to more measurable goals, which include getting the best out of the machinery, beating team-mate, putting in the hours, etc. 

I agree with this. The more experience you get, the more nuanced you approach and explain it. Calling it being better or best is just a way too simple way to go about it after years of comparison.

 

Interestingly Casey Stoner was asked in a Repsol Honda press interview to give some advice to Marc Marquez about MotoGP, before the latter began his 2013 season. He didn't give any, he was sure Marc didn't want advice because he probably already felt that he was better than him!

 

I guess that's how all the young hot prospects think. Kevin Magnussen is saying the same things in interviews, he is in F1 to win the WDC and is sure he will be faster than Button. It's only later when it hasn't gone their way, that they start to be more nuanced and explain it in lesser absolute terms like better/worse. Even Massa probably still has many explanations as to why it didn't go so well for him the last few years, and given other circumstances he could have performed much better.



#35 HoldenRT

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 21:43

It's the politically correct thing to say.. and it protects their ego and spurs them on to be competitive and push themselves but deep down.. I think only 5 or 6 would realistically think they are.  Excluding the young guys who haven't had a chance to prove themselves yet.

 

The thing with motor racing is that it's a strange sport in that it's so mechanically and setup based.  So you could have a situation where a car or circuit naturally drifts more towards their liking.  Favourable conditions etc and in that situation, any driver on the grid can win a race.  Like Maldonado in Barcelona.  Or Seb in Monza with STR.  There is a sweet spot, where any driver on the grid can win and dominate a race especially with modern regulations.  And there are car advantages that one car has over another.  It's a strange sport in that they compete against each other but they also sort of compete against themselves, like in golf.  It's one thing to win a race though.. and another to win 4 championships in a row.  And that's basically what they are thinking.. if they think they are the best.  They are thinking that they would win 4 championships in a row with that Redbull car.  Alonso would think it.  Hamilton would think it.  I don't think all of them would think it.

 

It's sort of a nothing question, because it's sort of meaningless to compare yourself like that.  Because you will never know.  It's better to focus on your own team.. your own performance.. and just know that you are always improving and getting the best out of yourself.  To be the best driver you can be, as opposed to what someone else is doing.  To worry too much about things that aren't in your control is self defeating.



#36 Vesuvius

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 22:09

Kimi has several times said that every racing driver think they are the best but are they, that we can't never say for sure unless they all have equal equipments etc.

#37 Blinkandimgone

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 22:16

Silly question really. you don't go in to F1 thinking oh well I might be good enough. or at least I'm better than that guy. No you believe your the best or you wouldn't enter the competition.



#38 sopa

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 23:35

To add an example to some of the theory here regarding young drivers, immaturity and changing perspectives.

 

I read once that it was Rubens Barrichello, who claimed that in 1994 after Senna's death he had huge pressure from Brazil to be his heir and as a result he started overthinking and overdriving to indeed try to be the best. He was about 20-21-22 years old back then. It took him a few years to realize that matching Senna's level was an impossible task for him, and so he had to concentrate on how good driver he HIMSELF can be regardless of how good others were. This change in mindset led to his rejuvenation in the Stewart team, which subsequently opened the door at Ferrari.


Edited by sopa, 21 December 2013 - 23:36.


#39 Mauseri

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 00:01

I think most of them should believe they can be the best, but looking back they would be idiots to all say they are the best.



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#40 f1RacingForever

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 04:57

Probably in 2009 yes - but I'd say serious doubts started creeping in after 2010. And he pretty much admitted that he wasn't as good as Seb, Fernando etc in Brazil this year.

I would have to agree with that.



#41 Falcao

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:03

Mate any driver worth his salt at this level thinks he's the best.



#42 Group B

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:17

So you think Max Chilton genuinely believes he's the best driver on the grid? Or Riccardo Rosset, or Zsolt Baumgartner? Sorry, but if they do then they serious help. There has to come a point, unless you're in uber denial, where you accept that someone else is just a little more gifted than you are.



#43 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:38

all of them. self confidence is a must in achieving anything in life at  such a level.



#44 andrewr

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:46

You've only got to re-listen to Webber and Button's team radio upon their maiden win/titles to see how much ego is involved in even the most affable of F1 drivers. These guys are ego maniacs and no amount of being beaten will convince them they aren't the best   :)

 

You must be joking. In Webber's case at least, it was pure emotion at having achieved a Grand Prix victory. How can that in any way be construed as believing he is the best?



#45 Fastcake

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 17:27

So you think Max Chilton genuinely believes he's the best driver on the grid? Or Riccardo Rosset, or Zsolt Baumgartner? Sorry, but if they do then they serious help. There has to come a point, unless you're in uber denial, where you accept that someone else is just a little more gifted than you are.

 

The outright best driver probably not. What they should have however is the belief that given the right equipment they could deliver the results, and at the least be competitive with a world champion team mate.

 

I would imagine the only drivers who do recognise they would be the Trulli types coming to the end of their career, as the competitive spark begins to run out.



#46 apoka

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 17:41

I would not disagree there.

 

I am just saying he does not come across like he thinks he is better than the other drivers on pure talent, he always makes reference of a team effort for example. Lewis and Alonso usually talk about their own individual ability from what I read.

 

I do not believe he thinks Lewis and Alonso are better drivers, but I do not think 100% its fixed in his head he is better than them.

 

Again pure observation, which is what this thread in drawn from.

 

Good points. I would say that Vettel probably believes he is the best driver in some/many relevant areas, but even more importantly, he knows that this is only a small part of the equation. He is always emphasizing that he is working on all those tiny steps with the team to squeeze out performance. Pure driving performance wise, the difference between the best and the second best driver could well be less than a tenth, but all those small steps could amount to dozens of WDC/WCC points over a season.



#47 Miggeex

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 17:50

If someone of the drivers doesn't think that they are or they can be the best of all, they've chosen wrong career in my opinion. But I think that everyone are there to prove they they're better than anyone else.

 

I think someone already pointed out when Kimi was asked if he thought that Alonso is better driver than him, and he answered something like:" I think everyone thinks that they are the best. Otherwise there wouldn't be any point to be here."


Edited by Miggeex, 22 December 2013 - 17:50.


#48 holiday

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 15:43

Jos Gravelstappen went on record during his active f1 years that he considered himself just as good as DC (when the latter was blocking the Mac cockpit for years). So while he was aware that he was not not quite WDC material, he still rated himself among the best. Generalizing his view, we arrive at a rule of exaggerated opinion of oneself's qualities whereby each f1 pilot ranks himself at least one notch above his true level of ability. This means that the entire midfield considers itself as WDC-to-be.



#49 holiday

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 15:48

So you think Max Chilton genuinely believes he's the best driver on the grid?

 

I think every driver mentally operates in two different modes. Mode 1 is the world of the ego and self-confidence and mode 2 is the necessity to adapt to reality.



#50 f1RacingForever

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 20:43

Deep down everyone knows Alonso is the best. :lol: