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F1: Stroll mentally damaged. F1 drivers need mental trainers

Do F1 drivers need mental trainers?

Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean admit to having worked with mental trainers

B.do racing drivers smoke psychologists or a mental trainer? If so, they would be reluctant to admit it. Reason: Formula 1 drivers have a reputation for being tough guys who can deal with any problem with themselves like gunslingers. Anyone who needs mental help is quickly considered a fabric softener by the “asphalt cowboys”.

Ex-world champion Nico Rosberg talked about it openly two weeks ago on the WDR talk show “Kölner Treff”. Rosberg: “In my last year, 2016, I worked with a mental coach. But I didn’t tell anyone about it. Formula 1 is an absolute macho world. That’s why I preferred to keep it to myself.” Born in Wiesbaden, who won the title in 2016 and then announced his resignation, claims that the training made him stronger in every respect.

After Rosberg, Haas driver Romain Grosjean now has his outing. The Frenchman also admits that he has sought psychological help. After his suspension after his accident in Spa-Francorchamps in 2012, Grosjean was in a crisis and got out of the hole through a mental trainer. Eight years later, he is still working with him and says: “That helps everyone!”

Nico Rosberg 2016

© Mercedes

He himself always needs some kind of switch to do something differently. “And in that regard, Spa 2012 was the switch,” says Grosjean. As a reminder: Grosjean caused a serious start-up accident that Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was very lucky to survive without injury. Grosjean’s lotus flew just a few centimeters past Alonso’s head, which was then still unprotected. Halo was only introduced in 2018 – the cockpit protection that protects the driver’s head area from flying parts.

Grosjean matured as a driver with the psychologist and was able to achieve a total of ten podium positions with Lotus. “I’m glad I got the job done,” admits Grosjean. As a father of three, husband and as a Formula 1 driver, he has faced some difficulties since then. “And just managing these challenges better really helps,” he says. “I really believe that a psychologist can be very helpful for athletes and in everyday life – simply because life in general is a challenge.”

Lance Stroll is currently facing similar problems. Since his corona illness at the Nürburgring he has been driving like a shadow of himself. Most recently in Imola he collided with Esteban Ocon on lap one, then knocked his husband over at the jack, and was 13th at the end. The Canadian was already noticed in Portugal due to unnecessary collisions . “It is clearly not at the same level as it was before the corona illness,” admits Racing Point technical director Andy Green. “We’re seeing a lack of confidence and we need to help him get back on track. This disease has weakened him, no question about it. “
Green continues: “He has to be able to believe in himself again, and we have to help ensure that we have the former Lance at the wheel again. He is physically and mentally battered. It started with the accident in Mugello, a pretty nasty crash that left a dent in his confidence. Then there was the fact that he was not fit at the following Grand Prix. In such situations a pilot needs nest warmth. We know what Lance is capable of, we saw it as far as Monza. He’s just going through a difficult phase at the moment. “
Alone: ​​Drivers like Sebastian Vettel refuse mental help even in times of crisis. Vettel says: “I don’t need that. I have family and friends who need to talk.”
The question remains whether Rosberg and Grosjean were the only ones who received mental support from professional mental trainers in the extreme sport of Formula 1.
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