A few years ago, I went go-karting. Before the race a marshal gave a safety briefing. The marshal explained that if he waved a black flag then that was a warning that I was driving beyond my ability. If he waved it again then I was disqualified.
I got in the kart and waited for the green light to flash
My kart accelerated from the start line. I was immediately in the lead but a car was coming up quickly on my outside right. We both approached the first corner, a tight left hand turn.
It looked like he was able to turn left before me. I should have slowed down but instead I accelerated and slammed into the side of the other car. This pushed him off the track but allowed me to take the left turn!
A masterful bit of driving but the marshal black-flagged me for driving beyond my ability!
A couple of minutes later I received a second black flag for a manoeuvre that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Mad Max film. I was disqualified.
I could not understand what I had done wrong. I should be have been praised. Driving beyond my ability is surely a compliment!
Did Schumacher win all his Grand Prix’s by driving within his ability? No – he drove to the limit and beyond.
I was thinking about this as I drove home from the go kart track…in an AA van. I was so pumped up with adrenaline from karting I’d crashed my car after leaving the track. I had to phone the AA to get me home.
The AA man asked how I’d crashed. I replied “I was driving beyond my ability.”