Many workers will agree that they have at some point followed directions and tasks given to them by their boss that they don’t personally agree are the best course of action. In most cases, employees are happy to shrug off their underlying disagreement, but for some, this presents an opportunity for greatness!
Sidestepping directions given by a superior for the good of the team is a bold move to say the least, and it can only go one of two ways; will the team leader see this as an act of defiance, or a courageous act of forward-thinking?
Dutch F1 racer Max Verstappen did exactly that this weekend when he overruled directions given to him to drop back and allow teammate Carlos Sainz Jr to pass him and take his position during the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.
I heard the message given to Max on the board radio: “Max, you need to swap position with Carlos, he’s quicker than you.” Knowing Max is a pure-blooded racer at heart however, I knew the decision wouldn’t sit well with him!
Max did not disappoint in his response, giving fans exactly what they were hoping for; a resolute answer was sent quickly to Toro Rosso’s pit wall: “NOOOO!” At just 17 years of age and racing at the top of his level, Max Verstappen made an incredibly bold decision to overrule his team leader and maintain his position amongst the pack, and rightly so! Having started in 8th position, Max had dropped a lap behind, but quickly recovered during a safety car period (due to the collision between Massa and Hulkenberg) boasting some extraordinary lap times.
Showing strong perseverance, Max was, at some points during the race, the fastest driver amongst the pack; dazzling the crowds in Singapore with his quick ability to overtake, his skill certainly shone through.
Whilst chasing Sergio Perez for an additional 2 points towards the race’s finish, Max almost cost himself 4 points when the board radio transmitted the order to drop back and give his position to teammate, Carlos Sainz.
At just 17 years of age, Max Verstappen is one of the most mature racers I have ever seen in Formula 1 racing. When asked by Eddie Jordan why he overruled the team order, Max confidently replied: “I felt I was driving an excellent race, had a lot of overtakes and I didn’t feel to give the position to Carlos. The whole race I had great pace, I was catching up to the guys in front, so there was no reason to let him past. I now want to enjoy how I drove and glad to score points again”.
Max is not a typical Formula 1 driver, much like Massa or Barrichello who follow team orders regardless of their situation; while his actions may be considered a little unpredictable by some, he certainly brings something to Formula 1 that the sport is in need of: entertainment.