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Russell recalls being booed by F1 fans: It makes you think

Reflecting on the mental health challenges that come with being an F1 driver, George Russell has been looking back on his first experience of being booed by fans.

George Russell has recalled how it felt to experience booing from F1 fans at an event in 2022. There have been various incidences of booing at races over the past two seasons in the sport, with the behaviour seemingly aimed at different drivers and teams. Russell admits that, when he was targetted by this for the first time, it got him thinking.

Russell on being booed by F1 fans

"Last year, for the first time, I experienced some fans booing me on a driver's parade," Russell told Square Mile . "I'd never experienced that before. I'm a 24-year-old kid living his dream, just going out, working hard, trying to do his best, and you got these grown men booing you. "I laughed it off, but it makes you think." Russell has been increasingly thinking about the issue of mental health, both in Formula 1 and the wider world. "It'a a funny old world. Many of us live on social media, which is an incredibly toxic place, especially in the Formula 1 sphere," the Mercedes driver said. "For me, it's learning and understanding how to deal with this but also recognising the challenges that young adults or teenagers in school go through with social media. "It's very difficult, and these sort of social issues are only becoming greater over time."

Managing mental health in F1

In terms of how he handles the pressures of being in F1, Russell relies on the support of those around him as well as speaking with a psychologist. "I talk with the people who I trust and love the most and they offer a huge hand," the Briton added. "But to be honest, the one who potentially helps me the most is my psychologist, because he knows the questions to ask, he knows how to react to certain things I say because he is a professional. "We use this example of, if you want to go to the gym and get fit, you may work out with a personal trainer or a fitness coach. A psychologist is a fitness coach for your mind. "And the same way as a fitness coach knows what to do to train your body to help you get fitter, a psychologist knows those spots to tap into on your mind and to help you feel freer in ways."

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