Do you ever wonder if your success had to do with luck? Did you get a job because the person who interviewed you had a good day? Did you get into college because your family knew someone at the school? Were you in the right place at the right time? These are questions I ask myself often, and this weekend I watched as luck turned into success, but was it truly luck? 

Let me set up the scene, Formula Racing has been dominated by a single driver and team for the past 2 years. Last year he won 19 of the 22 races, which is just incredible. The Red Bull team which he drives for has been dominant for several years, and with Max Verstappen driving it is hard to bet against them. In the last 539 days only one other team (Ferrari) has won a race.  

My daughter is a huge F1 fan, and she roots for someone else and another team, McClaren and Lando Norris is her favorite driver. Her dream was to attend an F1 race for her graduation. My original plans failed. In a last-minute crazy idea, I bought flights and tickets to the Miami Grand Prix. Just to give her the experience. I am not an F1 expert, nor planning, picking seats etc. Hockey yes, F1 no. But I asked some people, googled it, and figured enough out. 

We are at the race, Lando had a decent starting position and hoping for a podium (first, second, or third) result. The hope was a 2nd or 3rd as Verstappen penned in as first. The race started and Lando’s teammate got a great jump and vaulted into third. place, while Lando slipped down into 5th. Early in the race, Lando’s teammate made a move and got into second place. The top 5 cars pulled away from the field and Verstappen just pulled away from the top 5 cars. It looked like an easy win for him, and the field the way it is. It was this way for the first 30 or so of the 57-lap race. 

F1 has a rule where you need to use 2 diverse types of tires thus there is a mandatory pit stop. Some drivers had pitted but the top 5 had not pitted, many waiting for Verstappen in the lead to change. Red Bull made the call and Verstappen went in for the tire change. Instantly the Ferrari’s, who were in third and fourth at the time, followed by the McLaren (Oscar Piastri.) This put Lando Norris in the lead. Those not into racing a pit stop takes about twenty to thirty seconds under a green flag.  

With Lando in the lead, on lap 29 Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant crashed. This brought out a yellow flag and the safety car. Lando took advantage of it and pitted. During the yellow flag the speeds were limited, he was able to emerge from the pit stop still in the lead. During a restart, the cars were lined up, so Verstappen was right behind Lando when the green flag came out. Verstappen attempted a pass in turn 3, Lando was able to hold him off, and then seemed to pull away, eventually winning by 7 seconds. Amazing my luck of last-minute flights and tickets to a race where my daughter’s favorite driver would win. 

Someone texted my daughter asking how that happened, and I told her to say a little bit of luck played into it. There are apps that show where the conversation between the pit crew and the driver says, one driver commented that he did not know there was going to be a safety car break. No one knew that was going to happen, it was just luck and timing. Luck was not the only reason Lando managed to win this race.  

The McLaren team had made changes to this car for this race. Lando drove a great race for 57 laps and was able to avoid making any major mistakes. Lando has 110 races under his belt, years of practicing and climbing to earn a spot in F1. The McLaren team spent years and years of F1 development to have a competitive car. This victory was not just one of a single incident, but the accumulation of tons of work by lots of people. It had a little push with luck. 

Back to the question about my life, and questions you should ask about your own. There are lots of people who work hard, there are lots of people who are smart and plenty with dreams. Sometimes luck does play into success, not just effort. Luck could be the DNA lottery, (having the right parents) location lottery, (living in the right town) getting into the right school, picking the right major, meeting the right person or hundreds of other things. Many of us do not think of it, but it is something we should. And be prepared, work hard, put the effort in so when the time comes, you are ready.

This does not mean just in a professional manner but meeting the right people as friends and finding a soulmate. There is all some form of luck in it. The question we should ask for is how we take advantage of these lucky instances, and how we enable this fortune for others. The latter being what would make us better people.  This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain; I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback; but it is moderated.

This Blog is a labor of love and was originally going to be a book.  With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path.  I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content.  I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip.  I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.   AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information. Images I took at F1 race at Miam, except for the Lando Celebrating, my seats were not that good.