Lando Norris talks candidly about his past mental health issues. The McLaren driver suffered from negative thoughts, especially in his first year in Formula 1, where he doubted his future in the premier class of motorsport after a bad result.
Many Formula 1 fans almost only see the drivers when they are in action on the asphalt. Where the drivers often appear confident during a weekend session, Lando Norris explains that sometimes things are different behind the scenes. “I think people, no matter where they watch television, don’t realize what a driver goes through,” he explains on the British morning show ITV This Morning.
The 21-year-old driver had a tough time mentally during his first year in the premier class. “Entering Formula 1 at the age of 19, suddenly a lot of eyes were on me. Dealing with that sort of thing has had an impact on me. What happens if all this goes wrong, if I don’t perform better in the next session?”
According to Norris, there were few options for him other than car racing, which only increased the pressure to perform on the McLaren driver. “What should I do if I don’t drive in Formula 1 next year? I’m not that good at other things in life,” the young Briton asked himself several times. “I often felt depressed because of this. If I had a bad race weekend, I thought I wasn’t good enough.”
Ultimately, help from McLaren and a partnership with Mind, a mental health charity, left Norris feeling much better. “Talk to McLaren, my loved ones and my friends has made me feel a lot better these days. I’m much happier and can enjoy everything I do again.”