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Red Bull’s Principle congratulates rival speaking about mental health

Christian Horner
Christian Horner Image credit:

Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, has commended his competitor Toto Wolff for going public with his mental health struggles.

Ahead of the Formula 1 season, Wolff revealed he has been speaking to a psychiatrist since 2004.

"I think I've had more than 500 hours [of therapy], I have suffered mentally, I still do," Wolff said. "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."

Red Bull’s principal came out in support of Wolff sharing his story in public to help others who are being affected with similar conditions.

"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 businessmen realise the importance of using social media to support others and sharing positive messages to a global audience.

"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," Wolff said. "Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka deserve a lot of credit for how they've spoken about this."

Gymnast Biles went public with her wellbeing after she was forced to withdraw from the final event at last year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

"I have to focus on my mental health," Biles said.

"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."

Wolff’s driver Lewis Hamilton recently discussed the subject in an interview with Naomi Schiff on Sky TV’s Any Driven Monday programme.

"I think it was about peeling everything back, taking away the seven-time champion as a racing driver, and going back to the human being really," Hamilton told Schiff.

"I'm the same as everyone in that respect - sensitive with emotions up and down - it is a rollercoaster of a ride of emotions in this sport, as life is.

"For me it was disconnecting from social media, which can be a powerful tool and great in ways for keeping up with friends and news, but can also be overbearing. So, disconnecting from that, disconnecting from the world and being present.

"I was just being really present every day and just not thinking too much about the past, but how I want to improve in the future."

For support and advice on mental health you can visit the Mind website.