We talk a lot about risk on London Real. For this week’s guest, however, risk is a way of life. My guest today is the British race car driver Max Chilton. Max is both a Formula One driver and an IndyCar driver. In 2015 he won the IndyLights race in the US and is one of the very few British drivers to make the transition from F1 to IndyCar. If you’ve ever seen the Ron Howard film Rush, which tells the story of two very different race car drivers during the 1976 F1 Season, you’ll have a pretty accurate picture of the insane life Max Chilton lives. Max is no joke. He’s young, good-looking, brash and drives fearlessly. Max has got his game together in a big way. The way race car drivers develop the discipline of attitude and physical strength is a real world metaphor for any high performance pursuit. These guys spend hours on physical conditioning, and they have to develop their minds into psychological fortresses. In IndyCar the speeds reach up to 220 miles per hour, and the laps are much simpler than F1. In other words, the name of the game is speed. Max told me he has to train his mind to refresh itself with every new lap. Each new lap is treated like it is the first, and this is the trick to maintaining repetitive tasks at such high speeds. Everything that Max told me about race car driving confirmed to me that success is built in the mind. Despite his dashing looks and suave demeanour, Max didn’t shy away from vulnerability either. He told me how his ADHD has actually made him a better driver. When the stakes are so high, and you effectively cheat death for a living, preparation is everything. Being slightly obsessive about each and every variable is exactly what keeps you alive. Max performs his job in high temperatures and at high speeds, and if any one factor is out of sync, then it means certain death. In fact, the same day that he won the IndyLights race last year, his friend and fellow race driver Jules Bianchi died in another race. It is impossible to imagine what was going through Max’s head that day, but to go out and win his first appearance in a new American race on the same day, is testament to the strength of character it takes to get behind the wheel. To this day, Max can’t watch the video of Jules Bianchi’s death, not just because of grief, but because he can’t afford to lose his focus on winning. Again, the mental discipline involved here is astonishing and even a little scary. Race driving is one of those sports where you can’t hide. It’s like going to war, one mistake and you risk not only your own life, but the lives of others. Surprisingly, Max tells me in this interview that one of the hardest things about race driving is dealing with other drivers. Some drivers are openly aggressive on the track, some are passive aggressive. Some, like Bianchi and Chilton, are good friends. Managing these different personalities is a big part of the job of a driver, and is another one of those high risk variables Max needs to stay on top of. I thought this was crazy. Even at top speeds, alone in a fast car, a driver has to deal with office politics! Only this time it is all played out at deadly speeds. Ultimately, race car driving is about winning, and it’s about getting as close to death as possible without actually dying. The catchphrase on the track is,”Drive itlike you stole it”. In other words, there is something more than a little insane about what Max does for a living. No matter how much you train, no matter how talented a driver you are, you have to be prepared to push yourself to the limits. You have to be willing to go all in, and not look back. Talking to Max reminded me of talking to the fighters we have had on the show. Most of us will never put ourselves in a one man battle with death like Max does, but we can learn a lot from someone who has learned to take big gambles with his life to keep achieving his success. Buckle up, and prepare yourselves for a real rush!