“Dealing with all these kinds of things, took its toll on me”– Lando Norris opens about the mental health issues the drivers usually face.
Lando Norris has been heavily vocal about his deteriorating mental health during his rookie year, and on Monday, he once again spoke about the lesser discussed topic.
He mentioned that the fans usually watch the drivers on TV in action, but the mental stress in their heads is often overseen. Also, he talked about the pressure that comes only to ensure their survival in F1 is tolling too.
“I guess people, from when they just watch TV, don’t realise many things that a driver goes through,” he said. “And it’s a bit of shame, but there are more programmes now where you get to see what the driver is like behind the scenes, and the amount of pressure and stress that they have to cope with,” said Norris to ITV’s the Morning Show.
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“Especially at my age, coming into Formula 1 at 19, there’s a lot of eyes on you. So, dealing with all these kinds of things, took its toll on me. [It was] feeling like I don’t know what’s next?” he said.
What if it goes wrong?
Despite his immediate impact in McLaren, Norris admitted that there were moments of insecurity, which distracted his mind a lot towards what if he doesn’t edge past the expectations.
“If this goes wrong, if I don’t go out in the next session and perform, what’s going to happen? What’s the outcome of all of this? Am I going to be in Formula 1 next year, if I’m not? What am I going to do because I’m not really good at many other things in life?”
“So, just all of that, and then just feeling depressed a lot of the time that if I have a bad weekend, I just think I’m not good enough and things like that.
“When they start adding up over the season, and then the social media side of it all, that can just really start to hurt you.”
Combined with Mind and McLaren
Norris revealed that the support from McLaren and working with England’s mental health charity group Mind had brought him to a better place.
“We partner with Mind, which have helped me massively, and also helped many other people in McLaren, but also just in the world in general,” he said.
“So speaking to McLaren, speaking to the people that are around me and my friends that I trust, and, also Mind, I’m in a much better place now. I’m much happier and I can enjoy everything I do.”