Traits of an F1 World Champion

What makes up a World Drivers` Champion in F1?


Living up to fan expectations has never been easy for Formula One Drivers. Let alone the amount of pressure of living up to the Racing Team`s performance regulations be it historic achievements or concurrent achievements. These drive fans` love for the sport as they can never get enough of the thrills and spills they get served every time F1 liveries hit circuits. F1`s best drivers in past times as well as in modern times have mastered the art of excellence in terms of their performances and every now and then, they are defined by certain traits which eventually make them a “world champion candidate”.

The winner of the F1 World Drivers` Crown is the driver having the highest number of points based on all the grand prix results but a lot goes behind that to ensure that the driver gets to that point. 

1. Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship comprises four compartments; fair play, teamwork, responsibility as well as grace in defeat. Fair play has everything to do with adhering to the rules and regulations set for all drivers to follow, carefully ensuring that each driver follows them for their own safety and that of their rivals. An example could be the 1991 Silverstone Scenario where Nigel Mansell allowed Ayrton Senna to ride in his car to the pits after the latter ran out of fuel exhibiting a high sense of responsibility. When the seven-time world champion was crowned his fifth title in 2018, Vettel who was the runner-up did not hesitate to applaud the champ for his amazing efforts and talent and this was typical of “grace in defeat”. 

Sportsmanship also encompasses teamwork. This was seen with George Russell who after he had collided with Gasly`s AlphaTauri in the process knocking Zhou Guanyu`s Alfa Romeo, got out of his car to Zhou, regardless of his race ending prematurely. With F1`s fame increasing rapidly, sportsmanship is the glue that sticks fans to the sport and remains a must-have trait for a world champion. 

2. Persistence 

The main goal behind racing is to win. The minute the drivers hit their race tracks, they do not give any of their competitors a chance to outperform them, and that takes priority. This killer instinct/ruthlessness approach has what has led drivers to a championship victory. The likes of the two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso who`s currently driving for Aston Martin, the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton who`s currently driving for Mercedes, and the reigning two-time world champion, Max Verstappen who is currently driving for Red Bull. A past reference can be made to the seven-time world champion, Michael Schumacher as well. No matter the underlying respect with which these drivers had for each other when it was time to compete, the goal was to simply win.    

3. Mental Wellness/Strength

For F1 Drivers, it is very fundamental for them to have extreme confidence in themselves, which is a self-belief that they certainly have about themselves. What makes an F1 Driver an eventual champion is his ability to master his emotions sufficiently for them to know what will it take for them to win and whether it’s the right call that will not endanger other drivers or spectators. This self-confidence is defined by a strong belief in their own abilities as well as their judgment.   

It is very important also for F1 Drivers to remain focused throughout the race and that takes stability in the mindset. With all the heat coming from the cockpit, all the dehydration they have to go through, and also all the noisy distractions from fans, mental wellness is a very essential trait that world champions have as they are able to navigate through it all and remain focused on the goal of winning. 

4. Commitment

Commitment to the sport is a very valuable trait that makes a world champion. Most F1 Drivers kicked off their careers through karting which they engaged in at very early ages. It took commitment and dedication for them to make it to F1 and only a few make it to race seats. The likes of Max Verstappen as well as Lewis Hamilton all started their careers through karting and their commitment and dedication to the sport has helped them win multiple world titles. F1 World Champions are known to be champions in the sport and even outside of the sport as well and through their commitment to the sport, they are great F1 ambassadors.