The Briton is always seen as that jovial, smiley boy in the picture, but that has only been a mask and does not tell his story of his early years in F1, he says.
For example, he had serious doubts whether he was good enough for the premier class in motorsport, in his debut season. And that had a big impact on him. “I think people who just watch TV have no idea what a driver goes through,” Norris said this morning by ITV. “It’s actually a bit embarrassing, but now there are also programs where you can see what kind of pressure and stress we have to deal with.”
The British driver indicates that he was also very young to start in F1. “I was 19 and everyone is looking at you. And dealing with all those things was too much for me.”
The enormous pressure not to screw up in Formula 1 weighed heavily. “‘If this goes wrong, what will happen?’ I wondered. Will I still be in Formula 1 next year? And what am I going to do then, because in other things in life I am not that good at all.”
Norris says these thoughts made him depressed. “Certainly if I had a bad weekend, I immediately started to think that I was not good enough and all that sort of thing.” He received a lot of help from McLaren and from a mental health institution, he believes.
The Brit is doing a lot better now. “I’m better in my own skin now. I am much happier and enjoy everything I do.”
Click here for the World Cup standings.