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“You’re only as good as your last race”


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Poll: Is this gnomic expression meant to be sarcastic to you. (80 member(s) have cast votes)

“You’re only as good as you’re last race” is:

  1. Factually true. (10 votes [12.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

  2. An ironical/sarcastic comment on short attention spans (53 votes [66.25%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 66.25%

  3. It’s ostensibly the second one but secretly I think the first one. (10 votes [12.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

  4. Other (7 votes [8.75%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 8.75%

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#1 SophieB

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:16

As prompted by a passing conversation at the weekend. When you say or hear “you’re only as good as your last race”, do you mean it or are you being sarcastic and making fun of the very idea?



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#2 pacificquay

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:19

Saracastic definitely.

 

But humans have short memories.

 

If Sebastien Vettel's career had exactly the same stats but was done in reverse, he'd be much higher regarded by many here now despite achieving exactly the same.

 

Eg - first season midfield but a couple of podiums.

 

Then a few years at Ferrari - starting shakily but having the odd title challenge and a few race wins over the years.

 

Then four titles.

 

Then a race winning season.

 

Then a step down to a midfield team but still pulling off a race win,

 

And finally a few races as a fill-in.



#3 garoidb

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:24

Saracastic definitely.

 

But humans have short memories.

 

If Sebastien Vettel's career had exactly the same stats but was done in reverse, he'd be much higher regarded by many here now despite achieving exactly the same.

 

Eg - first season midfield but a couple of podiums.

 

Then a few years at Ferrari - starting shakily but having the odd title challenge and a few race wins over the years.

 

Then four titles.

 

Then a race winning season.

 

Then a step down to a midfield team but still pulling off a race win,

 

And finally a few races as a fill-in.

 

Damon Hill is another example of this.

 

I would rephrase the statement to be "In today's race, you are only entitled to be considered as good as you are now". Damon Hill said something about this in his book (or an interview), that he wasn't thinking of Prost the legend but Prost the real, and human, driver in the race today.


Edited by garoidb, 14 September 2021 - 11:24.


#4 jonpollak

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:30

I’m only as good as my last show.
I screwed up a blackout and had musicians tripping over each other in the dark.

Jp

#5 goldenboy

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:35

Seems odd to me that anyone would even use it in a non sarcastic way.



#6 cpbell

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:41

I think it has an element of veracity as there have been instances of drivers trading on former performance levels that they haven't hit in a while.



#7 Miles749

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:41

Saracastic definitely.

 

But humans have short memories.

 

If Sebastien Vettel's career had exactly the same stats but was done in reverse, he'd be much higher regarded by many here now despite achieving exactly the same.

 

Eg - first season midfield but a couple of podiums.

 

Then a few years at Ferrari - starting shakily but having the odd title challenge and a few race wins over the years.

 

Then four titles.

 

Then a race winning season.

 

Then a step down to a midfield team but still pulling off a race win,

 

And finally a few races as a fill-in.

 

 Jacques Villeneuve seems a better example. He would have ended his career with a championship and a P2 in the last year with his teammate (Hill) after which he would move to IndyCar to win a championship there.

 

The way it went, he won his championship early and struggled the rest of his career. 



#8 Marklar

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:42

Seems odd to me that anyone would even use it in a non sarcastic way.

well, not literally

#9 goldenboy

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:45

well, not literally

I thought that was what the poll was about? Whether people mean it literally or not.



#10 Marklar

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:51

Well, the third option covers it, no? There are certainly many who do have this thinking, they just dont use the phrase. The phrase is 100 % always sarcastic/tongue in cheek

#11 BRG

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:54

I’m only as good as my last show.
I screwed up a blackout and had musicians tripping over each other in the dark.

Jp

Well, you must be a tad out of practice after all that gardening leave in Reigate!



#12 Alan Lewis

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 11:58

I’m only as good as my last show.
I screwed up a blackout and had musicians tripping over each other in the dark.

Jp


Laurie Anderson writes: What a powerful statement on the often unguided nature of the creative process, I'm having that in my next show. Get me JP's number!

#13 Zmeej

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 12:00

Has this ever been uttered by someone in F1?

 

Found an interview with E-racer Jean-Éric Vergne saying it.

 

Anyway, voted “Other” i.e. incoherent, and not in accordance with the history or nature of F1. 

 

Not sure if uttering it sarcastically helps it, but then sarcasm rarely helps.


Edited by Zmeej, 14 September 2021 - 14:51.


#14 Augurk

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 12:02

It's coined sarcastically, but describes an actual phenomenon: the changing general perceptions in media and fan base heavily influenced by a large recency bias. 



#15 Yamamoto

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 12:05

I think it's less true in F1 than the equivalent phrase in other sports but that may be a reflection of the media I read. 

 

The one I've never liked is "you can't win a race at the first corner, you can only lose it" which is literally true, but any flexibility in interpretation and it is definitely not. Take last weekend, for instance.



#16 Stephane

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 12:17

It is true, but it is only applying to current level.

#17 PlatenGlass

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 12:52

It's obviously not literally true but I don't think people particularly use it sarcastically. It can be used figuratively with a bit of licence - e.g. if someone has been underperforming for a while after previous good results, so they might be basing it on a run of 5 results. But that's not the same as sarcastic.

Edited by PlatenGlass, 14 September 2021 - 14:13.


#18 CPR

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 13:15

It's coined sarcastically, but describes an actual phenomenon: the changing general perceptions in media and fan base heavily influenced by a large recency bias. 

 

Yep. Another way to put it would be that expectations of future races are overly biased towards the results of the previous race.



#19 Baddoer

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 13:16

Thing is, Gasly drove fantastically this year. But in sprint race he crashed because of front wing damage being directly behind Riccardo.

But Riccardo wins a race after horrible half of the season. Talk from zero to hero.

 

Who cares about Gasly now?


Edited by Baddoer, 14 September 2021 - 13:17.


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#20 Arundo

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 13:23

Erhm not native english so those answer options are not clear for me and no time to check translate.

But the sentence is mostly used when something bad happens imo. Negative things are more remembered.

#21 TheFish

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 13:31

It's not something I say, but it's something I understand. There's definitely some truth in it when it's said. It's usually not meant for just the last race though. Vettel is a perfect example of a career going downhill and when it's said about him, it's often a reference to that he either isn't the same guy that looked unbeatable at times, or he's declined massively from that point.



#22 William Hunt

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 15:21

Maybe we should change the sentence in 'You're only as good as your last year'



#23 ARTGP

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 16:02

This phrase rang some truth, based on the criticism Lewis received over the sprint race in Monza.....I even saw calls for retirement over that start  :rotfl: .



#24 RPM40

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 21:21

Saracastic definitely.

 

But humans have short memories.

 

If Sebastien Vettel's career had exactly the same stats but was done in reverse, he'd be much higher regarded by many here now despite achieving exactly the same.

 

Eg - first season midfield but a couple of podiums.

 

Then a few years at Ferrari - starting shakily but having the odd title challenge and a few race wins over the years.

 

Then four titles.

 

Then a race winning season.

 

Then a step down to a midfield team but still pulling off a race win,

 

And finally a few races as a fill-in.

 

I actually don't agree it would reflect better on him. As there was a point in history many viewed Vettel as one of the top of all time, and for some that opinion has stuck.

 

Had his success come after being outclassed by Ricciardo and Leclerc, or the frequent spins and errors, wouldn't people have just viewed it largely as due to having a car advantage? Just like if say, Perez went on to dominance now, no one would view him as an all time great. 

Maybe the win in a Toro Rosso would have given him a Gasly like revitalisation away from a 'top' team. 

 

In general , people do look at recent results as a better reflection of true skill and there is a big recency bias in perception. 


Edited by RPM40, 14 September 2021 - 21:26.


#25 RPM40

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 21:37

It's not something I say, but it's something I understand. There's definitely some truth in it when it's said. It's usually not meant for just the last race though. Vettel is a perfect example of a career going downhill and when it's said about him, it's often a reference to that he either isn't the same guy that looked unbeatable at times, or he's declined massively from that point.

 

You could also run the argument that many drivers who have a lot of early career success remain defined by that even if their later performance can't match it. 

 

Raikkonen is another key example, who even a decade or more from his title challenging seasons, people would still effectively define by his early career success. 



#26 Topsu

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 21:43

I prefer "You’re only as good as your current car" or "You’re only as good as by how much you are beating your terrible teammate".



#27 Myrvold

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 21:43

I subscribe to this theory. The last race I did was late 2019 (every plan since have been stopped due to covid). That race I was quicker than Felix Rosenqvist. Of course I am as good as my last race :p



#28 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 21:52

As prompted by a passing conversation at the weekend. When you say or hear “you’re only as good as your last race”, do you mean it or are you being sarcastic and making fun of the very idea?

well, it's not particular to F1, it's called recency bias and pretty documented whenever you are responsible of judging one's performance...It's a very true bias



#29 Ruusperi

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 22:17

well, it's not particular to F1, it's called recency bias and pretty documented whenever you are responsible of judging one's performance...It's a very true bias

That's true. So I think there are two factors at place: an F1 meme "you're only as good as your last race", which people know should be ignored, and a real recency bias that affects people's intuitive assessment of a driver. On the other hand, it really doesn't matter what general public thinks. Team bosses are wise enough to not overweight recent good or bad races. They try to see the full pictures and that means taking account driver's whole career and performance against their team mates.



#30 Anderis

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 22:23

I consider "you're only as good as your last race" as a multidimensional psychological phenomenon.

 

A good race for a driver will make his critics go quiet while his fans go very vocal about the success and a bad race will do the opposite. Nobody likes to deal with information that threatens the way they view the world or make them potentially look like incompetent judges, so an undeniably successful or unsuccessful race for a driver will make one opinion be expressed in public with overwhelming frequency over others. for a period of time

 

This will not make everybody change their minds instantly but as humans are social creatures, this will in fact make a lot of people adjust and those who haven't had a pre-established strong opinion about the driver are likely to be influenced with what they hear most frequently and actually start to believe that the most commonly expressed opinion is the right one. And some of those who have an opposite opinion will fear to express it until a more convenient moment and this will even further strengthen the impression that a driver is highly or lowly rated at the moment.



#31 kumo7

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 22:39

Sarcastic, but ironically indeed it is rather the ruling frame of the mass media, as it is the easiest way to sell the news.

#32 realracer200

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 22:42

Do we really need a thread about this?



#33 Alan Lewis

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 22:54

Do we really need a thread about this?


You're only as good as your last thread.

#34 Dolph

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 22:59

When I say that it really means tou are only as good as your recent performances. One race or a crash dont make a driver, but 6-8 races of underpeformance compared to your teammate makes team principles quickly search for alternatives and drops your negotiating power for a new contract significantly. It kills your status in the team.

Edited by Dolph, 14 September 2021 - 23:00.


#35 YamahaV10

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 23:13

In professional sports, you really are only as good as your last outing. Why do you think pro sports players celebrate so much when they score points or win ? Because they are under intense pressure. Each and every time. Points directly correlate to your career longevity.

 

Professional players aren't embellishing when they celebrate so hard. They mean it. Its real. The pressure is real.

 

You could see Danny Riccardo's stock falling more and more each race. He just lengthened his career with this win.



#36 Topsu

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 23:13

Do we really need a thread about this?

SophieB has been an advocate of having more threads here, and I agree with her. More threads is good. If a thread is not an interesting one for the community it will just get pruned.



#37 danmills

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 23:17

Of course its a pointless sarcastic statement, only ever seemingly used after said person has a shocker moment to effectively dress up saying 'you're £hit mate'.

#38 jonpollak

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 23:33

Laurie Anderson writes: What a powerful statement on the often unguided nature of the creative process, I'm having that in my next show. Get me JP's number!

 

Why sure...

it's  867-5309

 

Jp



#39 Rodaknee

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 23:47

The phrase comes from team sports, like football and cricket, where players are dropped after a bad game or series of games.  Team managers like to use the phrase to keep their teams on their toes.  It can't apply to F1, despite any number of these 'driver score' articles we get after every race, because teams stick to the same drivers for a whole season.  If it was used over the weekend, it probably came from a former football commentator who was filling time.



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#40 kumo7

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 02:54

I am looking at how this thread develops. 


Edited by kumo7, 15 September 2021 - 02:54.


#41 TheFish

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 06:35

You could also run the argument that many drivers who have a lot of early career success remain defined by that even if their later performance can't match it. 

 

Raikkonen is another key example, who even a decade or more from his title challenging seasons, people would still effectively define by his early career success. 

You could, but I think quite a few would disagree. Since 2014 there have been plenty of questions about Raikkonen and some of them involve revising previous success. How good was that Ferrari in 2007 and 2008 when Kimi won a title and then was absolutely destroyed by Alonso as team mates.

 

Same with Vettel now, no doubt if he'd suddenly retired at the end of 2013 there'd be threads and comments now about how he was better than Hamilton. As it is, people question how good he and those Red Bulls really were.



#42 NewMrMe

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 07:54

The contradiction to the statement is another saying "Form is temporary, class is permanent".

 

It is a weird thing though, how many sayings actually contradict each other. Other examples are "The early bird catches the worm" v "Look before you leap" and "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" v "Out of sight out of mind".

 

Back to the topic, I agree with the principal of the statement, but like others have said, it is over a longer timescale than a single race. Nobody is going to write Lewis or Max off if they happen to have a shocker in the next race and nobody starts regarding Stroll as a potential world champion after his occasional very good wet weather performances. If a top driver starts having a run of bad races (like Vettel having several spins a couple of years ago) people's opinion will drop. Similarly, if a driver considered a midfield journeyman does start delivering over a number of races the opinion of them will rise.



#43 absinthedude

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 08:25

It's coined sarcastically, but describes an actual phenomenon: the changing general perceptions in media and fan base heavily influenced by a large recency bias. 

 

This.

 

Seb is a great example. He has achieved great things in F1 but because he had a miserable couple of years - and he genuinely was unimpressive - many people assumed he was washed up, past it, not worthy of continuing in F1. I also think it tainted people's views of what he achieved prior to 2014. He was seen as a one trick pony, myself being guilty in that. 

 

It's not a phrase meant to be taken literally but there is some truth in it. Very recent performances loom bigger in the memory than ones from a few years ago. 



#44 PlatenGlass

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 08:47

Generally speaking, it's used figuratively, as an exaggeratation, not sarcastically. Reading this thread, I'm not sure if everyone here knows what "sarcastic" means.



#45 Zmeej

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 13:22

Please define “sarcastic.” :wave:



#46 PlatenGlass

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 13:35

Yeah, cos that would be really useful.

#47 Zmeej

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 13:37

Hmmm. Is that “sarcastic”? :cool: