I watched the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday, and like many Brits, I'm very pleased at how well Lewis Hamilton is doing in the championship. However, it wasn't Lewis who impressed me the most...
Many will have seen the images of Felipe Massa driving away from the pit lane trailing his fuel line, which was not detached before he was given the green light to drive off. It was a mistake by one man that dropped him from pole position in the race and an almost certain victory to last place and going home empty handed. Not only this but from being only one point shy of championship rival Hamilton, he is now 7 points behind; with only three races left, this mistake has probably cost him not just the race, but the championship.
What not so many may be aware of is how Massa reacted to this man after the race. Read this article, and especially Massa's quote and the last paragraph. He went to comfort this man, then public spoke of how every member of the team, this individual included, was valued and needed.
Some measure greatness purely by what someone is seen to have achieved. And so to them, no doubt, Massa's greatness will have slumped along with his standing in the championship. But true greatness is not just defined by what you achieve, but who you are: your integrity and character as an individual.
No-one who has watched this season of Formula 1 can doubt that Massa is a great driver. But by offering comfort and forgiveness in the face of such disappointment, this incident has revealed is that he also has true greatness.
Photograph by Mark McArdle licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0