What I love about the pressure cooker that is F1 is that there is very little energy available for falsehoods. It would seem, that energy must instead go to performance.
This dynamic means that you get to see who people are in a more extreme way than what you might encounter in everyday life.
In their genius.
In their anti-genius - their shadow.
At their edge in both directions.
And I think to a large extent, that's what excellence at the highest level is really about.
Being exceptionally real.
Capitalising on one's greatest strengths, and working to create the healthiest expression of one's shadows as possible.
Then, reality can decide if those qualities are appropriate for the position.
I was watching 'Formula 1: Drive to Survive' at the weekend, a Netflix docu-series that highlights life and drama in the fast lane, and I was very much taken by the different characters and what pressure revealed in them.
All united by one thing:
PLAYING TO WIN.
(Not playing not to lose.)
But in very different ways.
There's Lawrence Stroll of Aston Martin, who flies in on his private jet, tells his team they have his attention for 15 minutes, with an implicit demand to use it well, and flies away again.
Then there's Ferrari's outgoing Mattia Binotto. His 2022 season looked promising... until it didn't. He seems to be known as a big-hearted guy, but when strategic errors didn't result in rolling heads because he sought to avoid a "blame culture", things didn't go so well.
Headlines read things like: "...ruthless enough?"
...apparently father energy isn't always rewarded trackside.
What about Haas team boss Günther Steiner? The word 'thumos' comes to mind for me. Spirited, fierce, alive. All-in. He's known for his colourful language and unbounded expression.
He seems to love his teammates equally as much as he hates them - which is a f*** load.
Of course we've got other big names like Toto Wolff and Christian Horner, playing out the (in)famous rivalry between Mercedes and Red Bull respectively.
Like Poseidon and Athena.
And how could I not mention Australia's own Daniel Riccardo, not a team boss, but definitely a boss... if you ask him! 2022 was a tough season, but that didn't stop him smiling.
The track jester that no one could not love.
So much energy is lost when we attempt to play the "good guy" and keep everyone happy, rather than embracing who we are.
Have you ever wondered... if you were living in the "fast lane", really laying everything out there, with no room for masks, what mythology might start playing out in you?
What genius and anti-genius might you uncover...?