Christian Horner credits Toto Wolff for speaking out on mental health

The Red Bull team principal praised his counterpart’s openness and honesty regarding mental health; Toto Wolff has said he has been seeing a psychiatrist since 2004; Wolff: “I think we have a duty to say we’re getting help and it’s okay to get help”

Last updated: 22/03/22 11:45 am

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner believe that talking about mental health is important and should be done

Toto Wolff and Christian Horner believe that talking about mental health is important and should be done

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner praised his Mercedes counterpart and rival Toto Wolff for speaking out about mental health.

Ahead of the start of the new Formula 1 season, Wolff opened up about his mental health and told the Sunday Times he had been a psychiatrist since 2004.

“I think I’ve had over 500 hours [of therapy]”I suffered mentally, and I still do,” said Wolff. “Getting help is a way to overcome my problems and it has helped me 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.”

At the season opening of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Horner took the opportunity to praise his rival’s openness and honesty.

“I think all credit to Toto for the courage to talk about his mental health issues,” said the Red Bull team principal.

“It’s something that’s a lot more in the spotlight these days, and I think it’s something in this industry that we’re very aware of and something we want to be proactive about.

“I’m lucky that I haven’t had any issues personally, but I have… friends I know who have suffered as a result of mental health issues. So obviously it’s an important topic and I think it is. really good to emphasize it.

“I think it’s positive to be able to talk about it.

“Like I said, all credit to Toto for the confidence to talk about his own personal issues.”

Wolff and Horner are both at the top of a global sport and the Mercedes boss is eager to use his own platform in a positive way.

“High profile people, who seem to have everything but have a hard time, I think we have a duty to say we got help and it’s okay to get help,” Wolff said. “Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka deserve a lot of credit for the way they talked about this.”

Osaka has been extremely open about her own mental health, while gymnast Biles held a global conversation about the wellbeing of elite athletes at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

“I need to focus on my mental health,” Biles said after withdrawing from the team final.

“I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports these days… we need to protect our minds and bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.”

Wolff’s driver Lewis Hamilton also spoke to Naomi Schiff on Sky’s new program Any Driven Monday about staying present as he wanted to look ahead after last season’s dramatic finale.

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

“I’m like everyone else in that respect – sensitive to emotions up and down – it’s 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 for keeping up with friends and news, but it can also be overbearing. So disconnect from that, disconnect from the world and be present.

“I was just really present every day and just didn’t think too much about the past, but how I want to improve in the future.”

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