Ricciardo shares mental health experiences with Renault employees
Daniel Ricciardo opens up about the mental stresses of competing in Formula 1 in an 'open conversation' with the Renault UK Mental Health Champions.
In a multi-million dollar sport such as F1, small mistakes can have big consequences, so it is unsurprising that stress levels can run alarmingly high.
Answering a question on how he personally copes with this stress, Ricciardo answered: "I guess in my job, there are so many variables in Formula 1 and I think that alone creates stress, because you’re, even after a good qualifying you might still have an overhanging stress of ‘I hope the race goes well, I hope we have the right strategy, I hope I make a good start, I hope my reaction is good’.
“So you already have, I don’t want to say doubts, but yeah, questions in your head that can build up and create some stress for sure.
“I think it’s important, in order to shut them out, you have to go through why these [thoughts] are popping into your head, so why am I having a question about the strategy for example. Is this a conversation I need to have with the team just to put my mind at rest.
“I think it all starts with conversations and addressing why they’re creeping into your head, but to alleviate stress I go to simple things like listening to music. I think that takes me away and it kind of switches my mind off."
Ricciardo added that he sometimes talks to himself back at his hotel to convince himself that he knows what needs to be done the next day, but admitted, "It’s very easy to have a disrupted sleep because I’m thinking about what might happen and what I need to do."
Explaining why he felt it was important to engage in conversation on the topic of mental health, Ricciardo added: "I face a number of pressures in my job, and I’ve learnt how to deal with many of these over the years.
"The opportunity to speak with Renault UK’s Mental Health Champions was interesting as I felt there were experiences which weren’t just about F1 and us drivers, but things that everybody, no matter what they do for their job, deal with.
"We all had different and varied ways to cope with elements such as pressure and we explored how everyone should make time for their own self-care."
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