Nico Rosberg has revealed that getting to grips with the increasing anger and stress he felt was crucial to clinching the 2016 Formula One world championship title.
And the cause of that anger? His Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton, naturally.
“The anger is bigger if that person you know so well does something that crosses the line,” Rosberg admitted in a lengthy interview with Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper this week.
“Lewis is very good at going to the edge without going outside the grey area, thanks to his skills in the car. He is smart, very, very smart. I found it harder to go wheel-to-wheel. For him, it comes naturally.”
“For me it is more rational. I have to work at standing my ground. I got more aggressive because too often in the past he had walked all over me. I had to watch the videos and make improvements.”
Crucial to making the breakthrough that led to achieving his dream of winning the championship was meditation and mind management techniques.
“I would spend 20 minutes each morning and evening meditating,” he explained. “You can learn from this why you are feeling jealous or angry or stressed.
“I would sit down and just think of my thoughts, learning to relax my mind. After 20 times, your mind calms. When the fear crept in that I would lose the championship, you connect with the thought and have a discussion with it. Then the negative thought loses its strength.”
Although he admitted that it was hard to see Valtteri Bottas take up his old race seat, Rosberg insisted that he had no regrets about retiring from the sport just five days after winning his long-sought crown.
“I look at my calendar for March and it’s totally white, blank from start to finish. I can decide to explore whatever I want to. It’s about spending more time with my family.”
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