George Russell spoke about his mental health and the important role that psychology played in the preparations for the 2021 Formula 1 season, and said that seeking professional help was a “big” step in his driving development.
Moving into his third season with Williams, Russell faced his fair share in F1 because he failed to score a point for the team in 2019 and 2020 with a bad car, and painfully approached his 2020 debut victory in the Sahir. instead of Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes – before he was stopped by pit stop problems and a late puncture, he was dropped from the game. To get rid of these disappointments, he used a psychologist, as he explained to a British newspaper I.
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“I feel stronger and stronger about it, the more time passes, and since I also had difficult moments and learned that talking about it with the right person … obviously talking to family and friends is good and good, but getting expert advice was really important, ”he said.
“It allowed me to come back stronger, older, healthier than ever.” [I’ll] be able to perform from the back. “
He added that there is a stigma around psychology, especially for men, and reiterated the importance of seeking professional help.
“I think that so many people, especially men, see psychology as a weakness, which is absolutely not the case. Your mind is the most powerful tool in your body, ”he said.
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“I’ve never been one of those people who thought that mental health isn’t that important and that you’re either mentally strong or mentally weak or anything and you just have to be strong in it if you’ve ever had a hard time, sharpen up and get over it. “
As for heartbreaking in Sahir last year, Russell said he sees it as a learning exercise.
“If I want to win races and championships, I can’t let the difficult moments continue on me.
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“I qualified for second place at the Sakhir Grand Prix. And I was disappointed. My best qualifying position so far was P12, which absolutely thrilled me, and then I just placed second and I was disappointed.
“And it also taught me that the fight for championships and victories in the future will be mentally much harder than what I had to endure ending up at the back of the net for the last two years.
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“So those experiences were a masked blessing, I think in the long run, 10, 15 years, I’ll look back, and say,‘ I wouldn’t change any of that for the world. “
At Imola next weekend, Russell hopes to upgrade his solid qualifiers for P15 and finish P14 in Bahrain, perhaps scoring the first point for Williams in the process.