Concern for Lando Norris as Nico Rosberg offers to help ‘spiralling’ F1 star

Jamie Woodhouse
Sky F1 pundit, 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg, pictured in 2023.

Sky F1 pundit, 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg, pictured in 2023.

2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg wants to use his experience to help Lando Norris with his “mental performance”, after noticing the Brit falls into a “spiral” of repeating that he is not good enough.

Norris has always been a driver who comes down hard on himself when a race weekend has not quite gone to plan, the most recent outing in Qatar being the prime example where he was left kicking himself for a costly track limits violation.

McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri went on to win the sprint, before finishing P2 in the Grand Prix, a position ahead of Norris, who felt he could have challenged race winner Max Verstappen without the mistakes.

Nico Rosberg offers guidance to Lando Norris

The Brit’s frustrations with dropping the ball in Qatar consistently cropped up in his interviews across the race weekend, which concerned Rosberg, especially considering Norris is a driver who has been open in discussing his mental health struggles in Formula 1.

And this is where Rosberg, who says he was the most dedicated driver of any in his time to “mental performance”, wants to step in to stop Norris falling into this “spiral” of thinking he is not good enough when something goes wrong.

“I think Lando has been doing really well when he wasn’t really challenged so much, I think he was always at his best,” Rosberg began when speaking on the Sky F1 podcast.

“And then 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.

“Plus, what was a little bit of a worry, because Lando always says himself how he has sometimes challenges with mental health, and I saw some signs of that unfolding again this weekend, because he goes into this spiral of then saying ‘I’m not good enough and I’m just making mistakes, I’ve done a bad job’, and he just repeats that over and over. And that’s a typical example of a little bit of a mental struggle there.

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“And I was going to write [to] him maybe because I studied with psychologists for 10 years, I was really the driver who was most dedicated to improving my mental performance, but also mental well-being actually, because it came hand-in-hand.

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

“So I wanted to write [to] Lando actually, and I wanted to say that one thing is thinking you’re not good enough, but the other thing which you can influence and avoid is what you’re saying then, and if you keep repeating that, in repetition, you can start to believe what you say.

“So it’s important to try and avoid repeating ‘I’m not good enough and I’m making too many mistakes’ over and over and over for the whole weekend.”

Norris is nonetheless on an impressive run of form, his P3 in Qatar making it three podiums in a row as he continues to be talked about as a potential future target for Red Bull.

Read next – Revealed: The two F1 legends which Lando Norris rivals for ‘natural speed’