Column: Lights out, away they go

TRL’s Nick Perez details his growing fascination for Formula 1 racing


Olivia Lauter

“Through a time of doubt and struggle, five red lights turned on. These lights would change my perspective of myself and the world.”

One year ago, on a trip to Florida, through a time of doubt and struggle, five red lights turned on. These lights would change my perspective of myself and the world. 

My older brother was watching an episode of “Drive to Survive” on Netflix, and I was intrigued, decided to watch with him and was instantly hooked. I immediately downloaded the series for myself and watched the first season on the trip. The drama between the drivers, the suspense of the race, and the competitiveness of the entire sport appealed to me on a personal level. The drive to be the best in the world and pass all expectations captivated me beyond my expectations. That weekend, I watched my first race, having no idea of what was going on, but I watched with intrigue through all 72 laps, not picking up my phone once. From there it was history.

I started to learn everything possible about the sport. From YouTube videos to articles on obscure websites, I wanted to know everything. I learned about the cars, the drivers and their lives. Everything about it compelled me. I found myself in the scenarios of the drivers, specifically Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo drove for the Red Bull team for most of his career, from F3 all the way up to F1. He became a successful driver through that program and team. Then, a young rookie came up and became the number one driver for Red Bull, replacing Ricciardo almost completely. He felt lost, in a place he knew almost his whole life. Ricciardo found refuge in the Renaut team. In that same period of time, I found refuge in F1. 

I felt welcomed by the F1 community and connected by one common goal to watch cars go fast in freaky circles. It brought me into a small, yet growing community. It started out with talks in history class to talking with fans across the globe. I have found a lifelong interest, not just a fad, but a connection. People from all different walks of life can find a place in Formula 1. If you are looking for a sport with intensity, excitement and passion, you will love F1. Finding an interest in the sport pulled me out of a low time in my life. For anyone considering getting into the sport, I would recommend watching “Drive to Survive.” The show brought me into the great sport, and I hope that it does the same for you. Five red lights go out, away they go.