McLaren’s Lando Norris has opened up about his mental health struggles in a heartfelt conversation on International Men’s Day. It’s such an important discussion and we are proud to see Lando leading the way.
“During my first season racing in Formula 1, I might have looked like the new kid on the block full of confidence and enthusiasm but that really wasn’t the case. I covered up the fact that I was struggling a lot with nerves and anxiety,” Lando says in the blog post from McLaren.
Norris, aged just 20-years-old when he undertook his first F1 race at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, has always been seen as a happy and cheeky chap among the paddock. However, like many of us he experienced imposter syndrome and doubts in his self-belief but feared speaking out as “no one wants to give the opposition an edge or show any weakness.”
“We don’t talk about mental health as much as we should – and we really should.
“Having a strong, core group of people around you, whether it’s family, friends, colleagues, or someone else you feel you can open up to, is essential. For me, my family is most important. But when I’m racing, I’m away from home so my manager, performance coach and engineers – the people I work closest with – are my family.
“We spend so much time working together that we know each other really well and, for all of us to perform at our best, we need to be comfortable and open with each other. Just because I’m the one driving the car, it’s not just about how I feel. Everyone in the team must feel good about themselves and what they are doing to be in the right frame of mind and perform.”
— WTF1 (@wtf1official) October 10, 2020
The full post, which can be found here, has been shared in support of the mental health charity Mind.
“If you’re struggling with your mental health right now, please don’t struggle alone,” Norris says.
“Reach out to someone you can talk to. Mind’s new peer support platform, Side by Side, is there for you. It’s a safe and supportive online community where you can connect anonymously with people who understand what you’re going through.”
A big well done to Lando and McLaren for discussing such an important issue within our sport.