Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, often referred to as the ‘bad guy’ of F1 thanks to his portrayal on Formula 1: Drive to Survive, has applauded Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff for speaking out on mental health as the 2022 season begins.
Wolff had opened up to the Sunday Times about his mental health before the Bahrain Grand Prix kicked off, revealing that he’d had “more than 500 hours” of therapy since 2004.
“I think I’ve had more than 500 hours [of therapy], I have suffered mentally, I still do,” he told viewers. “Getting help is a way of overcoming my problems, and it has helped me to access untapped potential.
“I’ve never had any problem with the stigma. Some of the most successful people are very, very sensitive and very, very sensitive means very, very vulnerable.”
Now Horner, one of Wolff’s major competitors in F1, has responded to this, doubling down on how there shouldn’t be a stigma around this in the modern world:
“I think all credit to Toto for having the courage to talk out about his issues with mental health,” Horner said
“It is something that there is much more of a spotlight on these days, and I think that it is something in this business we are acutely aware of and something that we’re looking to be proactive on.
“I’m fortunate that I haven’t had issues personally, but I’ve had… friends that I know who have suffered as a result of mental health issues. So, of course, it is an important topic and I think it is very good to highlight it.
“I think to be able to talk out about it is a positive thing.
“As I say, all credit to Toto for having the confidence to talk out about his own personal issues.”
Both Toto and Christian are incredibly well known to F1 fans, especially after their roles in Drive to Survive. Because of this, they’re both making sure they put a spotlight on positive subjects.
“High-profile people, who seem to have everything but are struggling, I think we have an obligation to say were getting help and it’s okay to get help.
“Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka deserve a lot of credit for how they’ve spoken about this.”
Biles and Osaka have both talked about their mental health after the Tokyo Olympic Games last year.
“I have to focus on my mental health,” Biles told fans after pulling out of the team final.
“I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now… we have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.”