Within the world of F1, Eau Rouge is much revered. Success at Eau Rouge allows you to set yourself apart from the pack. It demands of the driver courage, commitment, and physical and emotional strength. For the team, which comprises the best and brightest, most passionate talent that money can buy, it’s a test of their innovation, design, engineering precision, discipline, research and technology. Despite the intense focus on performance, safety is always of paramount importance. These characteristics resonate so strongly with us that Eau Rouge inspired our name, and these principals mould our corporate and investment culture.
The legacy of Spa-Francorchamps’ Eau Rouge, one of the most renowned and challenging corners of all the world’s Formula One racing circuits, has at its core the same principles that inspire Eau Rouge Investment Managers.
The Eau Rouge corner borrows its name from the small, 15 km long stream which it crosses and translates literally to ‘red water’. More pertinently, the fearsome Eau Rouge combination of downhill/uphill/left/right turns has been regarded as hallowed ground for both racing drivers and fans alike since 1939. Since that time F1 teams have strived relentlessly to conquer the corner such that there is no comparison between the performance of racing cars through Eau Rouge now and at its inception. In this quest for excellence we find the embodiment of many of the attributes and philosophies that we espouse and revere.
Spa Francorchamps is often regarded as Michael Schumacher’s favourite Grand Prix track. In the words of this doyen of Formula One racing:
“Spa is a circuit steeped in tradition and to drive around it from sections like Eau Rouge, Blanchimont, and so on releases some special feelings; feelings of enormous satisfaction and confirmation of your ability to control the racing car at the limit and in doing so to be extremely challenged. Because in the cars back then, not quite so much now, to drive through Eau Rouge in them was simply sensational. The cars were so squashed together and then in the next moment they practically took off as you drove over the crest and doing that at the limit it was like it probably is doing a top level juggling act on a high wire so it was really an enormous sensation and at the same time when you have the feeling you are going to manage it that’s the greatest confirmation, the greatest feeling a racing driver can have.”
The almost unquantifiable improvements in safety and performance standards over the years has been made possible by devoting billions of dollars and extensive time to research and development, employing the best and brightest human talent available and investing in cutting edge technology in a quest for innovation.
The challenge of working in a thrilling, fiercely competitive environment, where vibrant energy levels and steely determination are required to constantly push forward, typically attracts top calibre people who hold themselves to the highest possible standards. These passionate and driven individuals, drawn from a wide range of disciplines, must mould together with a common goal to maximise performance while accepting the lowest possible levels of risk to driver and car. Teamwork is essential; lack of attention to any one detail can result in disaster. Every aspect is critical to performance, from design and engineering of the automotive components, to speed and agility in the pits. Managing risk is key – the team must stretch itself right to the edge of tolerance, carefully balancing safety, strength and performance.
The difference between exceptional and ordinary distils to an ethos of passion and a commitment to utilise the best available research, technology and talent in the unrelenting pursuit of excellence.
This resonates strongly with the team at Eau Rouge Investment Managers. We too aim to maximise performance while accepting the lowest possible levels of risk, so it is perhaps unsurprising that we find the key tenets of our philosophies mirrored in F1 motor racing. At Eau Rouge we aim to provide our clients with all the excitement offered in the fast-paced world of investments, but simultaneously allow them the tranquillity of the Eau Rouge river as we negotiate treacherous market conditions on their behalf.
“Superlatives seem inadequate to describe the wonders of Spa-Francorchamps, the greatest modern motor racing circuit in the world. This roller-coaster track courses along the contours of the Ardennes mountains with a beautiful natural flow. It contains every conceivable challenge a Grand Prix driver could wish for and arguably the world’s toughest corner. Eau Rouge has been neutered a little now it is flat-out in all conditions but is still a thrilling challenge”. BBC Sport.
- ALBERT SZENT GYORGYI