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Way back in 2013, one of the first clients we got on board was Formula 1 (F1) – the last year we witnessed its magic on the tracks in India! It was a cool credible account, whose win added a lot of merit to our credentials rather quickly. Since then, I have acquired more knowledge about the sport and certainly am familiar with the names of the top F1 drivers.

So when Netflix released its documentary on Formula 1 in 2019, I binged watched it at one go and was mesmerized by how well-written and nuanced it was. It focuses on the psychology of the drivers, team managers, owners – their insecurities, their attitude towards excellence or defeat, and how competitive the sport is for drivers as well as the teams. 

For those of you who may be new to the sport- two drivers each from ten teams, ranging from Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, etc. participate in an F1 race held at tracks spread across the globe. A race held on a Saturday ranks the participating drivers as per their lap completion timing and the basis that the line-up for the Sunday race is decided.

When you passionately start working towards a goal, you will become a magnet for others. You will see support coming from all quarters as passion is contagious: Dev Batra 

The Pole Position is given to the driver who gets the top spot in the Saturday race. The top ten drivers in a race win points that decline rapidly from 4th rank onwards so those who make it to the podium in the Sunday race win a lot of points.

Similarly, the teams also get the points; so for a team, it is important that both of their drivers do well. A team like Haas would be content to be 7th in the list because they are underdogs but a Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, or Mercedes would always eye the top position. 

In the 2020 season, Red Bull Racing had two drivers Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly of a similar age; in fact both of them had participated in the same junior go-karting event when they were in their teens. It was observed that race after race, Max Verstappen would start at number 5 and finish at the top or second position.

In one race he actually started at number 8 and finished second!! Pierre Gasly on the other hand would mostly finish at the fifth or seventh position, frustrating the Red Bull Racing’s team manager. Eventually, he was fired and was replaced by another F1 driver. 

So what went wrong? Both the drivers were driving identical cars, they both had similar backgrounds and racing history and the same team to support them. While one continued to consistently demonstrate great outcome race after race, the other just didn’t accelerate hard enough. 

When you truly spend time to understand the passion of your team members and direct them to chase their passion, they will make huge strides in their personal growth and consequently bring more success to your venture: Dev Batra 

I firmly believe that we all carry very similar potential. Unless we don’t have an IQ of 180+ or Genius level- we are all the same. Then why is it that some of us really do well while a lot of us tend to struggle with very simple jobs? Why is it that some startups don’t grow as fast as others? Why is it that some entrepreneurs in the same industry with the same knowledge win while others don’t?

It has nothing to do with capability. It has everything to do with Passion- the Desire to Excel and To Drive Ourselves and those around us. Passion is at the source of every great act ever committed. Someone had once said, people of passion move mountains. And when you passionately start working towards a goal, you will become a magnet for others. You will see support coming from all quarters as passion is contagious. 

As entrepreneurs, we are uniquely blessed to inspire a lot of people to achieve an improbable vision. When you assess people based on their capability only, they will certainly do well but that may not be enough. After all who gets fired for being the fifth fastest driver in the world?

But when you truly spend time to understand the passion of your team members and direct them to chase their passion, they will make huge strides in their personal growth and consequently bring more success to your venture. This is a gift that all entrepreneurs get. Use it wisely! 


Dev Batra is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Lyxel&Flamingo (L&F), a digital-first marketing agency. With a team size of over 200 full-time employees, Lyxel&Flamingo is one of the largest independent agencies in India with offices in Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Vancouver, (Canada and Wyoming, US).