Sebastian Vettel: Looking after mental health is complex

“When I get in the car I forget everything else and that is a really good feeling. I don’t find that sport is so different from the rest of life, it is just a compressed version.”

Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel was sharing his thoughts on how lifestyle choices can make a big impact on future success, where physical fitness can be taken as standard but it’s not the only important factor in an athlete’s health.

“You need to find balance, to be able to say: ‘this is enough’ and have some quiet time to yourself.” Vettel revealed that sketching was something that took his mind off the pressures of Formula 1. “I’m not very good but it’s doing something completely different,” he said.

Sticking with the theme of sport reflecting life, Vettel is a firm believer that looking after your mental health is a vital part of success.

“If you look at the top level of sport, the players that win are the ones with the mental edge,” said Vettel. “Who can say which player is better? They are so close, it happens in the head. The top players have a mental edge.”

Vettel was speaking at a breakfast Q and A arranged by reviti, a life insurance company whose aim is to encourage people to make positive life choices like quitting smoking.

“Looking after the mental side of wellbeing is more complex than the physical,” he said. “I try to develop myself outside of the track as well as on it, to always learn. It’s not rocket science, not being too strict but doing the basics right.”

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Rob Smith is the editor of Influence. He's a reporter with a background in business journalism.

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