This weekend, while settling in on my couch for the first time all week, I came across a new Netflix docu-series: "Formula 1: Drive to Survive". Immediately intrigued, I watched the trailer, hoping it would be an exciting look into the lives and experiences of F1 drivers, and not just a top-down look at the industry. To my pleasant surprise, the series followed individual teams and drivers, documenting their struggles and strife, which included low budgets, low driver confidence, crew error, and many other hindrances that could contribute to a less than stellar performance on the track. Every mistake is expensive. Just a few tenths of a second off each lap time could be the difference between first and sixth place, which makes the difference on whether or not those teams will continue to receive sponsorships of millions of dollars.
This Netflix documentary is well-produced and fun to watch, I binged all eight episodes in one night and was disappointed when the high tensions and breakneck speeds on the screen came to an end. I found myself re-realizing that if I could be anything, anything in the whole wide world, I'd be a formula one race car driver. Traveling the world to race against the cream of the crop in the worlds most popular and prestigious car races would be nothing short of glorious. I would easily do it for free. The fortune of these young drivers to be participating in this sport during its safest and most technologically advanced time is something I will be envious of for my entire life.
After finishing the docuseries at around 3 a.m., I felt cheated. Not only because I craved to watch more of these drivers and absorb their stories, but because I believed I would never have the chance to be them.
Currently, I'm in college to be a professional, as you probably are too. But why can't I go to college to be a race car driver? Where was my opportunity to compete for a chance to sit in a state-of-the-art, aerodynamically engineered racing machine?
I feel cheated, not only because I may never drive one of those, but because now, looking at the possible areas of study available to me at one the best academic institutions in the state, I'm disgusted. None of these career paths seem even a fraction as cool as driving race cars in Formula 1. I can't help but be angered by this fact. Although I thoroughly enjoy my time at school, it feels like a watered-down version of truly living; like my existence is diluted and small compared to the thrill and valor of being a Formula 1 Champion.