“We are not lions in a cage for people going to the zoo” – Pierre Gasly has spoken out on his demotion from Red Bull and how he did not let it have an adverse impact on his mental health.
Pierre Gasly was axed from Red Bull in the middle of his first season with them, to be swapped with Alex Albon of sister team Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri). Since then, he has been super impressive in the sport, grabbing three podiums, including a brilliant win at Monza 2020. Speaking to The Guardian, he owed the upturn in form to his strong resolve, and not letting the ‘demotion’ have an adverse impact on him.
“It could have destroyed some people. But it didn’t destroy me because I do not give up. If anything, it made me stronger. You have to go through rough times to get better and understand what you can improve about yourself.
“Life can be quite tough and kind of unfair but that’s the way it is. It’s important to enjoy every moment because you don’t know how many days or years you are going to get, especially with the people you care about.”
Mental health is a topic rarely discussed within sport, and especially #F1. But, over recent months, drivers have begun to open up more about the inner demons they each face and how they are overcoming themhttps://t.co/a8zo3XsUyH
— Autosport (@autosport) September 18, 2020
Gasly on F1 drivers not being zoo animals
F1 is an extremely demanding sport, be it physically, technically, or mentally. And, being part of the pinnacle of motorsports brings along a lot of external pressure in the form of expectations. But Gasly has countered it by using an analogy of them not being zoo-tamed creatures, and it does make a lot of sense.
“I am someone that will never give up on my target – winning the World Championship – but sometimes it is important to understand we are not lions in a cage for people going to the zoo. There is us as athletes and the person behind it.
“People struggle to understand we also feel emotions, we also have our ups and downs. It doesn’t matter if you are successful or not. We saw it with Naomi [Osaka] in the tennis with the mental health issues.
“People outside see you as a driver and assume that is the only thing that goes through your head. But you have a personal life, feelings and emotions.”