Rosberg to reach out to Norris over ‘worry’ about self-criticism

2016 F1 world champion Nico Rosberg has revealed he wants to reach out to McLaren driver Lando Norris to offer him some advice about his “mental performance”.
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren with Nico Rosberg (GER) in parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren with Nico Rosberg (GER) in parc ferme. …

Norris has often spoken about the struggles he’s had with his mental health, particularly self-doubt during his first two F1 seasons.

Since then, Norris has emerged as one of F1’s brightest talents, demonstrated by his run of podiums this year with McLaren as he leads their recovery up the field.

The Qatar Grand Prix weekend was a difficult one for Norris, who threw away pole position on two occasions.

After both qualifying and the sprint shootout, Norris was very critical of himself, blaming a “lack of talent” for his mistakes.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Sky Sports F1 podcast, Rosberg gave his view on Norris’ constant self-criticism.

“I think Lando has been doing really well when he wasn’t really challenged so much, he was always at his best,” he said.

“If you look at Qatar now suddenly you’ve had Lando a little bit off, never putting a lap together in qualifying and therefore having a worse grid slot and not getting the best out of the weekend, because Oscar beat him both on Saturday and on Sunday. 

“What was a little bit of a worry, because Lando always says himself how he sometimes has challenges with mental health, and I saw some signs of that unfolding again this weekend.

“He goes into this spiral of saying ‘I’m not good enough, I’m making mistakes and I’ve done a bad job’ and he just repeats it over and over. That’s a typical example of a little bit of a mental struggle there.”

Lando Norris (GBR), McLaren F1 Team Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 18, Qatar Grand Prix, Doha, Qatar, Qualifying Day.-
Lando Norris (GBR), McLaren F1 Team Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 18,…

Rosberg explained how he worked alongside a psychologist for 10 years during his own F1 career which ultimately culminated in a title triumph against Lewis Hamilton in 2016.

“I was going to write [to] him maybe, because I studied with a psychologist for 10 years. I was really the driver who was most dedicated to improving my mental performance, and also my mental wellbeing, because it came hand-in-hand,” he added.

“So every two days I worked two hours with a psychologist. It was more intense than the physical training, it was insane. And it was a big, big part of me becoming world champion. 

“So I wanted to write to Lando actually and I wanted to say that one thing is thinking you are not good enough, but the other thing, which you can influence and avoid, is what you are saying. If you keep repeating that, you start to believe what you say. So it’s important to try and avoid ‘I’m not good enough and I’m making too many mistakes over and over and over.

“Let’s find a balance there. We all appreciate his honesty and that’s how he is. So let’s keep that. It’s just a matter of saying once, ‘it’s not been my best weekend, for some reason it was difficult to put the lap together in qualifying’ and then that’s it. 

“There’s a difference between saying it once like that and just repeating it over and over for the whole weekend.” 

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