April 13th, 2021

Building on a solid start

Dimidium facti qui coepit habet, wrote Horace once upon a time: he who has begun is half done. As we head to the country from which the Roman lyrical poet hailed for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, those wise words ring both true and foreboding. The first race of the season, in Bahrain all of more than two weeks ago, was indeed a solid beginning, with both cars in the fight for the points for the duration of the event – a far cry to where we were in 2020.

The team has made a big step forward over the winter, rejoining the midfield pack in a battle for a place in Q3 on Saturday and a top ten finish on Sunday. With the margins razor-thin, every small detail becomes crucial, every gain means a leap over a rival and every mistake takes you back rows on the grid. It’s early days, but the season is shaping up to be one of marginal gains at every end of the grid (and right in the middle, too) – which, in turn, makes it fun for the neutral viewer.

A still very long way ahead awaits, though: early signs remain such until they’re confirmed by further evidence of improvement, and a single event is obviously not enough to guarantee the sunlit uplands lay in front of us. Indeed, at best we’re only halfway through our work (if not even before that): the other dimidium facti still remains to be completed. For, despite the steps forward we made ahead of our 2021 debut, we still have to work to bring home points. Every push for a thousandth of a second, every little gain in the garage, in the cockpit or under the pit gantry – everything pushes us closer to where we want to be.

It will take hard work, dedication and commitment, knowing our rivals are toiling just as hard to nudge ahead of us: but hard graft need not scare us. As Horace himself also said, nil sine magno vita labore dedit mortalibus – life grants us nothing without hard work.