Daniel Ricciardo opens up on the importance of good mental health

In a frank and wide-ranging virtual call with Renault UK’s Mental Health Champions, Renault DP World F1 Team driver Daniel Ricciardo addressed the critical importance of good mental health. The seven-time Grand Prix winner spoke about stress and how he deals with the pressures of life in one of the most focused and intense sports in the world.

With a goal of exploring how the experiences from the world of F1 could be applied to any workplace and vice versa, Daniel spoke about challenges he faces, which can be common in the sport, as well as how he manages those pressures.

Daniel went into detail about the huge amounts of variables which can cause stress in his role as a driver, and how he addresses these. He noted that stresses can last a whole race weekend no matter how good an good qualifying time, but explained this is no different to the stress felt by anyone else in their individual lives.

Renault DP World F1 Team driver Daniel Ricciardo, said: “I face a number of pressures in my job, and I’ve learnt how to deal with many of these over the years. The opportunity to speak with Renault UK’s Mental Health Champions was interesting as I felt there were experiences which weren’t just about F1 and us drivers, but things that everybody, no matter what they do for their job, deal with. We all had different and varied ways to cope with elements such as pressure and we explored how everyone should make time for their own self-care.”

Daniel went on to explain that having conversations with the team around him is the best way of alleviating pressure and feels that an open dialogue is key, no matter their occupation. He explained that preparation is a vital way of dealing with the stress of a race weekend, while music is also a welcome distraction.

Ensuring you take the time to listen is also something else Daniel spoke about with the Renault UK Mental Health Champions. He suggested that despite his love of talking, giving someone the space to speak to get to an answer for themselves with guidance and patience is hugely important.

Steve Martin, Renault DP World F1 Team’s Health and Safety Manager, shed further light on how mental health is now an important focus for the physical wellbeing and safety of employees across the team. This topic has really accelerated in the last four years and it is critical to ensure staff are completely supported in all areas. Like Renault UK, the Renault DP World F1 Team have Mental Health Champions, including within the travelling team throughout the F1 season.

Lucy Jones, HR Director Groupe Renault UK, said: “Groupe Renault UK actively focuses on mental health through maintaining high levels of engagement with all our people and providing them access to the help they may need through our Employee Assistance Programme and other resources. Our Mental Health Champions are a key part of this, highlighting concerns and promoting positive mental health. The opportunity for our Champions to share their thoughts and listen to our colleagues in Renault DP Word F1 Team has been valuable, especially considering the highly competitive environment the team works in. Discussing the topic with Daniel Ricciardo has opened our eyes to the pressures he faces, and how he focuses on his own mental wellbeing. Our Champions can bring these lessons back to the business.”

Renault UK’s Mental Health Champions have been trained by Mental Health England in the knowledge and confidence to advocate mental health awareness, support fellow colleagues within the workplace and spot the signs of mental health issues or concerns. At the same time several new line managers have taken part in Mindfulness courses as part of their Development Programme.

Renault UK recently took part in Time to Talk Day and has also carried out promotional work on Stress Awareness Day, with content overlapping on the topic of Mental Health. The company hosted two sessions last year on relaxation and mindful eating during Mental Health Awareness Week for all employees.

Recently, Renault UK has also opened a ‘Retreat Room’ which allows staff across the business to escape from work and reflect quietly. The room is packed full of mindful activities and encourages staff to take a break and support their self-care.

To watch the full discussion between Daniel Ricciardo, Renault UK Mental Health Champions and Steve Martin, Renault DP World F1 Team’s Health and Safety Manager, go here: https://youtu.be/tH1rs9yhNTI

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