Norris: 'I beat myself up a lot over early struggles'


Lando Norris says he was anything but a confident young racer at the start of his career in F1 and frequently beat himself up mentally over his early struggles in the sport.

Last year, the McLaren driver opened up over the doubts and anxieties that resided under the surface when he graduated to Grand Prix racing as a burgeoning young 19-year-old talent.

Eventually, Norris succeeded in strengthening his self-belief with the help of a core group of people - his manager, performance coach and his engineers at McLaren - to whom he opened up.


While talking about one's mental issues is an often-difficult step, it's also a crucial to confide to those one trusts insists the Briton.

"There’s a lot of pressure and I worried about it and I didn’t have much, or at all, much self-confidence," remembered Norris, talking to the BBC.

"I’d never had the belief that I could stay there [in F1] for long or even get there in the first place, so whenever I didn’t do well I beat myself up a lot over it.

"Mentally, I did struggle a lot and it’s of course not the nicest thing to talk about. But the best thing is just to talk [even though] it’s something you never want to do."

As one of the sport's most popular drivers on social media, Norris often interacts with his fans, mainly through his Twitch channel. And through his close interaction there are moments when he discerns the positive impact his connection has on those who suffer from mental difficulties of their own.

"I’m lucky I enjoy a lot of these things. Mainly because I’m terrible at a lot of the things I try to do," he added.

"Because you get the messages which are like ‘how do you get through this?’ Or you get the positive messages which is ‘thanks for doing this because you’ve really helped me in this area and I was struggling’.

"It’s nice that you get these messages, and you can have that impact on people, and that’s something I think I’ve got much better at over the past few months."

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