What you can learn from Sébastien Buemi's outburstA little fiery passion isn't necessarily a bad thing
We’re all laughing at Buemi’s Formula E outburst after the first race yesterday where he argued with three separate drivers regarding on-track incidents.
But think back to Schumacher trying to deck Coulthard, or Piquet vs Salazar in ’82, or even Senna knocking cocky newcomer Eddie Irvine down a peg.
Motorsport is full of passionate people who have a desire to win. It’s no wonder they react in the way they do.
I’m not condoning shouting at half the grid after an incident and you definitely shouldn’t be laying into your fellow racers but there’s nothing wrong with showing a bit of passion.
In today’s shiny, media trained world, we don’t often get to see the real emotions behind the racing. While Buemi’s outburst made him look a bit of a tit, we’ve got no doubt about how much he wants that championship.
We’ve covered how to handle yourself if you’re nervous of media interviews but this Formula E excitement can teach us even more about how to handle yourself after a heated race.
Let your personality shine through
Daniel Ricciardo is the perfect example of this. He has bags of personality but he’s also very well behaved. Even when he lost out at Monaco thanks you a bad pit stop, he was upset but he never out and out blamed the team. While it’s good form not to place blame or get too angry on camera, don’t be so careful of what you’re saying that you come off as bland and boring.
Know who you’re ranting at
Don’t mistake one teammate for another.
Don’t do it on camera
If you have a bone to pick, go and find whoever you need to speak to and do it in private.
Think about your personal brand
It’s great to come across a passionate and dedicated racing driver but the fiery hot-headedness shown by Buemi in Montreal can be a bit of a turn off to employers and sponsors. Before you react, think about how your brand and public standing might be affected if you flip.
Depending on how you present yourself, a bit of a post-race tirade might fit in quite nicely. Some drivers do well to present the element of danger and excitement (a la James Hunt or, to a lesser extent, Lewis Hamilton) that goes alongside motorsport. For these drivers, an angry outburst is just part of the package. Yet for someone like Nico Roseberg or Jenson Button, you’d be horrified if their squeaky clean images were tarnished by a spat. It’s for this reason that so many people started to dislike Rosberg when his passion started to really show through as the rivalry with Hamilton intensified.
Look for ways to be remembered
This is probably going to be good for Buemi. Sure, we’re all laughing at him but we’re not going to forget this anytime soon.
In short, pay attention to how your actions can affect how people perceive you. The key is to be consistent and even if you are going for the bad boy/girl vibe, you still have sponsors to think about.