Pushing the Limit
by Alvero Piergili '19
The sound coming out from the engine, a V 12 turbo powered engine, sounded all over my head, hitting 18000 revolutions per minute. Changing the gear from seven to eight, pressing the throttle and directing the steering wheel through the famous and dangerous curve called Eau Rouge, in Belgium, the famous circuit of Spa Franconchats.
There I was, living my dream, fighting wheel to wheel with my idol and the legend, Lewis Hamilton. He passed me on the last curve, entering to the last lap. I started following his slipstream, taking a wider racing line through the first curve, getting into the gas faster than him, because he took a defensive line.
Knowing that, I put all the electric power on the full deployment mode, gaining over two hundred kilowatts extra. The ten seconds we spent on the straight line passed as if instead of seconds, they were minutes, hours, days...
There, approaching the chicane at 380 kilometers per hour, I prepare the overtake. Moving to the interior of the curve and with success, I overtake him.
The curves passed as I was defending myself. The tires were overheated due to the additional stress I putted on them.
The engine had issues, it was the last race of the season, and due to all the restrictions and rules, this engine was at the end of its so productive life.
With all of this, we were getting to the last curves, a chicane following a straight line.
He followed my slipstream, and tried to gain my position but I defended correctly. All the stress disappeared when I crossed the finish line, winning the Belgium Grand prix.
Super excited, I went to all the celebrations and to the podium, where I could see thousands of people all around.
Then, I went to talk with the media where a reporter asked me, “How does it feel to win here, at home?”
I answered, ”Well, of course it feels good, but as you all know is nothing new. I believe that we are all equally talented at this level. But what marks the difference is how obsessed are you, because I am not more intelligent than the others, I am obsessed and that’s where all the hard work comes from, obsession. So today I just showed it clear, I am the best, I put more hard work than the others, and that’s why I won today, do not get me wrong.”
Then I went directly to my house, to rest with my family and to get ready for the next race, the final one, in Brasil.
I was second in the championship, Lewis Hamilton was just leading by one point, meaning that whoever wins the next and final race will be the World championship on the top of automobile racing. I knew that to prove my point, that I am the best driver ever, the champion of the champions, that I was in another level compared to the rest of drivers, in another galaxy mentally...
I had to win. Simple as that.
Also I knew I that God gave me this opportunity and that I couldn’t let him down, as well as myself. That every time I am inside the car, I feel closer to him, I feel at home, I feel that I am talking with God.
Because of that most of the people think that I am crazy, that I shouldn’t be allowed to drive because I would put in danger the safety of all the other drivers. That I don’t fear death, that I think I am immortal. Well, they should know that I fear death as all people do, but I believe if God decides to take my soul with him to the sky, I wouldn’t fight it, because I know it is the correct thing.
But just in that moment, my mother asked me, “What is you real goal here? Is it to die? Is it to drive me crazy and tense?”
And I answered, ”Mom, I know its hard for you, but you have to understand that this is my dream, and you have always taught me that you can not give up, that there is always a way, and that I will only find it if I give my absolute best, and that’s is why I am here.”
My mom listened to me, knowing that nothing could change my mind.
Without saying anything more, I packed my things and went straight to the final race, Brazil.
The atmosphere around the circuit was radiant. The tickets were sold out in world record time. Millions of people around the circuit of Sao Pablo. In the history of Formula 1, there haven’t been that many people ever. More than 2 million were around the circuit. Since that moment, the pressure started to enter through my bones.
Even with that feeling, the free practice during Friday went well, having a good set up in the car, a good sensation with the car, and a good confidence for the rest of the weekend and eventually, for the championship options.
But then on Sunday, I lost all hope. The engine didn’t start and I was going to start from the last place of the grid on Sunday.
The day came, the race day. It was a windy rainy storm day. As usual the weather at Brazil was playing a big part in the championship. But I had it clear, in the rain, in the most difficult conditions on the track, the more chances I had to win, because I could demonstrate why I am the best.
I sat in the car, and waited for the red lights going green, one.....two.....three....Go, Go, Go
I rapidly changed gears and went through first to second, third, while I was controlling the oversteer and the back side of the car and also when I was passing multiple cars by going through the exit.
As the laps were passing, I was overtaking cars while controlling the car in the extreme conditions. I was going up the order, quickly, being already on the top ten.
There, I focused and I gave it everything, every single curve, every single second, and every single lap until the end of the race.
With just two laps to go, I got to Lewis Hamilton and I tried to pass him many times, but without success.
Entering the last lap, I prepared the overtake to only one chance, at the last curve, where I went with a line prepared to get the best traction at the exit of the curve. He defended the interior line, and I went for the switch back, having way better traction than him.
The meters until the finish line were flying very fast. At the last moment, I looked to my left and there I saw him, side by side with me, both giving everything to win. But no. I had it clear I was going to win, and with the help of God, I won by less than a second. I couldn’t believe it, I finally reached my dream, being a Formula 1 champion.