George Russell reveals when he decided to ‘seek professional help’

George Russell somewhat infamously crashed whilst behind the Safety Car at the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

George Russell was a star of the 2022 season, with the Brit having without a doubt gotten the most out of Mercedes’ challenging W13, by claiming the team’s only victory and pole position of the year.

If the Silver Arrows have designed a considerably better car for the forthcoming season, then the likelihood is that Russell will claim many more pole positions and victories this year, something which certainly wouldn’t come as a surprise.

Russell has grown tremendously in his four years at the pinnacle of motorsport, with the 24-year-old having adapted a ‘give it everything’ approach, potentially due to having spent three seasons at the back of the grid with Williams.

Russell’s approach at Williams, though, did result in some big crashes, with the Brit having actually crashed at Imola in consecutive seasons.

READ: ‘That’s not how he works’: Mercedes make claim about Lewis Hamilton ‘losing’

At the 2020 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Russell bizarrely crashed whilst behind the Safety Car, whilst in 2021 he collided with Valtteri Bottas at high speed, resulting in a scary crash for the duo.

Since experiencing some challenging moments at Williams, though, Russell has learnt how to deal with certain situations, with the Mercedes driver having also received “professional help” to cope with mental health issues he faced.

“I haven’t always been into my mental health,” Russell told Men’s Health.

“I only started getting into it about a year and a half, two years ago, when I started to speak with a psychologist, mainly for my on-track personal performance.

Article continues below

“It was only through those conversations that I felt like this is giving me more than just the on-track benefits. I’m coming away from these sessions feeling better about myself, feeling like there had been a weight lifted off my shoulders.

“Sometimes I went into these sessions with not a lot to talk about, thinking it would only last five or 10 minutes, and I was there well over an hour and since then it has been something I have felt strongly about.”

It was actually after a big crash whilst at Williams that Russell decided to get help, with the Brit having found himself at a “very low point in my career”.

“The moment when I thought I need to seek some professional help, I had a really difficult race. I had a crash, [and] it was a very low point in my career.

“I thought I could just pick myself up from that moment and I was picking myself up, but we decided to speak with a professional.

“And I was so grateful that I was advised to do that because I came away from that conversation and that meeting with him feeling so much better about myself, and put those negatives to the side, lifted myself up, and I was ready to attack the rest of the day and the rest of the week.

READ: Christian Horner opens up on harsh FIA penalty

“The one bit of advice I would give to someone who is struggling with their mental health would be not to be ashamed about talking to somebody.

“Whether that is a friend, or a colleague, or a member of your family, or reaching out to a professional.

“We all have our moments where we are feeling a bit down, a little bit low but even when we are not, I think talking to somebody to almost have this mental maintenance just to keep ticking over, to keep in that positive place, is so important.”