Not afraid to advocate for the importance of mental health, Lando Norris is proud of the impact speaking out on the subject has had with fans.
Lando Norris has undergone quite the transformation during his three years in Formula 1. He started off with a cautious approach in year one as a rookie, more often than not allowing competing drivers to pass rather than putting up a fight. However, he has since made the transition into a much more rounded competitor.
Spurred on by McLaren CEO Zak Brown and Team Principal Andreas Seidl, year two and three saw his driving style become that much more aggressive. Defending against overtakes and ramping up the aggression while on the offensive. With 2021 being his most successful season to date.
Part of Norris’ transformation into the capable driver that he is today stems from his acknowledgement of addressing mental health issues. The last two years have seen the 22-year-old advocate for the importance of self-care, with the message that it is okay not to be okay, and to seek help when you need it.
The stress and pressure of entering Formula 1 in 2019 took a toll on the young Brit, with concerns thrust upon himself that McLaren may cut him if he didn’t perform. Taking the time to address these issues and self-doubt helped him shift the focus back onto racing.
Norris has admitted that the fans played a huge role in assisting with his struggles by giving him the confidence to speak up. By doing so, he is proud of the fact that he has in turn helped people address their problems, with the realisation that he can have a huge impact globally.
“I am very happy and proud to be a part of that group of people who have accepted it and are happy and confident to speak out about it,” Norris said. “One of the biggest things that made me think it was good to speak out about it is my fans, my followers, and especially when I would hint at it the first few times.
“Before I was even speaking about it publicly, a few of them were saying how much it is helping them and the impact that I can have on them. Then over time realising that the impact I can have on the hundreds or thousands of people is huge.
“When I start to get messages of me helping them out, to make them feel much better or their friends or family, that is a pretty amazing thing to see.
“So the more I saw that, the more I realised the impact that I can have and the place that I am in with Formula 1 in my life, with the followers that I have and the fan base that I have, means the bigger the impact.
“Therefore I thought it was better to speak about it more publicly and worldwide to try to help as many people as possible.”