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GP Week : Issue 88
GPWEEK OPINION >> himself would have loved. Fernandes was a Lotus fan as a kid who burnt a hole in his parents carpet playing with a model Type-49. Taking on the Lotus name made commercial sense and fulfilled a school boy dream. But essentially, Fernandes wanted to do his own thing. He could have bought Toyota and had an easier winter. But it just didn't appeal. "I think life is about creating something of your own, and buying an existing team is not your own," he explained to me aboard his rented yacht in Monaco some weeks back. "I mean, I have bought an existing airline, but that was two planes and it was losing tons of money, which I was able to turn around. "An existing team comes with 500 people, who already have their way of doing things. That wasn't something that really appealed to me. Everything that I do with my partners is to create something we can be proud of, and it's much easier to do that from the beginning. My talent is for bringing the right people together and giving them a working environment in which they can thrive. That's much harder to do with an existing team. That would be a battle." He likes to do things his own way, does Tony. Old man Chapman would have approved. "I'm prepared for the down days, and there will be some, but we're moving in the right direction and faster than I had dared to dream," says Tony. "Not only does the car perform well, and the recent upgrades have met expectations, but the drivers are great, the whole team looks good. We deserve to be here, and we'll be here a long time yet." 500 he immediately started to struggle to his feet. After all, a show of injury or especially concussion might conceivable leave him ruled out of the race. On the adjacent screen, one footballer slightly bumped into another one. The second party gave a cry of mortal agony and collapsed to the ground, rolling around in torment. A broken leg at the very least, you would think -- maybe worse. But the referee took no notice, play continued, and in a couple of seconds the pitiful victim was on his feet again and running. A miracle, before our very eyes. It gave rise to musing about the nature of sport. It seems the greater the risk to personal safety, the less attention participants pay to their injuries. Footballers are of course athletes and prone to hamstring injuries and the like; and a serious clash of heads is no laughing matter. Motorcycle racers would give anything, however, if that was the worst they could expect. I have seen a rider with a broken bone in his ankle walk back to the pits barely limping, insisting "I'm perfect". His grey pallour and cold sweat gave the lie: the next day he finally admitted the truth and went under the knife. Both sportsmen are lying about their condition. They are reacting to the rules, maximising opportunities in their sport. By lying. I know which ones I have the most respect for. 23