Lando Norris admits: ‘I didn’t need to do that’

Lando Norris stormed onto the Formula 1 stage in 2019 at McLaren, with the British driver having quickly cemented his place as one of the fastest on the current grid.

Lando Norris has opened up on his battles with mental health, with the McLaren star having started to discuss the personal challenges he’s faced to the media.

Being a Formula 1 driver is quite clearly no easy feat, with the job being so much more than just racing around a Grand Prix circuit at absurd speeds.

Whilst in most professions you are able to shut-off from the outside world at weekends or whilst on holiday, in F1 it simply isn’t possible.

Formula 1 drivers are always in the spotlight whether they like it or not, with that being one of the pressures that comes with the job.

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For a rookie, this can be daunting, given the sudden rise in media attention they’re receiving.

Norris made his rookie appearance for McLaren in 2019 and has revealed to having “struggled” with mental health almost as soon as his foot was in the F1 door.

He’s most recently had to endure personal battles as a result of disgusting death threats and abuse, something he was a victim of following his break-up with former girlfriend Luisinha Oliveira.

Whilst he was previously unsure about speaking out on mental health, Norris has decided to do so over the last couple of years, with the McLaren star having first really spoken about it on ITV show ‘This Morning’ in 2021.

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He’s gone on to appear on the daytime show several times, after partnering with mental health charity Mind.

For the 23-year-old, he knows that he didn’t have to reveal his personal battles to the world, with it being something he decided to do.

“I didn’t need to do that,” Norris told British GQ.

“It was a choice [to speak about mental health], because I struggled quite a bit with it in 2019 and 2020.

“I just didn’t know how to deal with it.

“I kept all of it inside and it really hurt my self-belief and self-confidence, which got to an all-time low.

“I doubted myself: ‘Am I good enough to be in Formula 1? Can I come back from this?'”

Since opening up, Norris has received messages of gratitude for helping save their lives, as a result of the McLaren star discussing his own mental health issues.

Being told he’s saved lives is something Norris admits “hits you pretty hard”, with the Brit now being a leading supporter of raising awareness of mental health.

READ: ‘That hits you pretty hard’: Lando Norris opens up on mental health struggles

“You’re never going to please everyone,” he added.

“There are people that support you and people that don’t… I know I’m doing the best I can.

“A few people said that I had saved their life, that hits you pretty hard.”