Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel was interviewd by Autocar at the end of the British Grand Prix and talked about the inner battle which Formula 1 drivers face, as they spend their early years filling their “bag” in karts, but only the best drivers can empty it all out when it really matters.
That is why, when Sebastian Vettel sat in his Sf70H Ferrari car during qualifying for the British Grand Prix last weekend, he probably took a moment to shut his eyes and watch a preview of what lay ahead. In order to find a quiet corner to mentally rehearse her routines, Sebastian tops up his subconscious mind until it is primed to take over: “Qualifying is more intense than racing. In the race, you have to take care of tyres and think about lots of things at the same time: how long does the stint last? What is the objective? It’s busy in a different way, whereas qualifying is very raw. So you spend time going through the lap. What are the key points? Where do you have to improve compared with the run before? Once you start, there’s no time to think about anything else. So you clear your mind and you really have to be in the moment. Even if you make a mistake, it is important not to think about it. You just focus corner by corner – and ideally let it flow.” – Sebastian Vettel explained, as reported by the weekly British automobile magazine published by Haymarket Motoring Publications Ltd.
Mental coaching is common knowledge in sports such as golf and tennis but it remains taboo in the macho world of motorsport. Yet the four-time Formula One world champion reveals the importance of holistic wellbeing: “If someone wants to improve, there has to be science behind their progress. Just as developing a racing car has to be calculated, a human is the same. Formula 1 has physical demands but it is a mind game. Every lap you need maximum concentration, so there can be nothing disturbing your mind. If you have stress, don’t keep it inside – you need the right people to talk to.”
When two rivals find the zone at the same time, the fans have to savour it. This is the first year Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton both have a great car and prior to last weekend’s British GP, they had alternated perfect races. Things weren’t in Sebastian Vettel’s favour at Silverstone but with the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix just one week away, there is everything to play for in the Formula 1 championship.