Motorsport defines pressure and in a high-adrenaline environment where mere seconds separate victory and defeat, fortitude and tenacity go hand-in-hand with mental strength.
As ROKiT Venturi Racing’s Team Principal, Jérôme D’Ambrosio is the captain of one of Formula E’s leading crews and faces the weekly demand to deliver on motorsport’s most competitive platform.
In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month in 2022, Jérôme shares his own experiences with mental health and outlines his own approach to having a healthy mind.
“Physically and mentally, every person in the world is unique but having emotions is something that we all share,” says Jérôme.
“Our individual pressures, worries, fears and anxieties influence how we feel and behave and for me, taking care of my mental health is at the top of my agenda.
“I make sure to listen to my feelings and contextualise them, I accept myself for who I am and I’m not afraid to acknowledge if and when I’m struggling mentally.
“If I have an issue, I’m not afraid to seek help and people shouldn’t feel embarrassed if they’re struggling. Fears need to be normalised because every person experiences fear.
“Taking care of my personal mental health is an ongoing process and is something that I dedicate a lot of time and effort to. It isn’t something that I’m ever going to stop doing.
“No one is perfect and I believe that talking about how I feel is part of my evolution as a human being.”
Jérôme channels this attitude in his day-to-day management of Monaco’s only racing team, and by fostering an inclusive culture, has ensured that mental health and wellbeing are a top priority at our headquarters.
“The way I approach and address my own mental health is something that I also apply as Team Principal,” he continues.
“In my role, I’m responsible for a fantastic group of people and at ROKiT Venturi Racing, we have a very supportive, inclusive working environment. I believe that this is one of our strengths as a team.
“We all want to win but I want an organisation that works in the long-term – not only six months. To do that, it’s imperative to strike a balance so I empower our people so they can be themselves at the office and at the track.
“We have created a culture in the team where our people know that they are not going to be judged and they know that they are going to be supported in any challenges that they face.
“We want our people to be at the top of their game and to do that, we need an open and accepting environment where people can talk about their difficulties and emotions.
“Racing is in our blood and supporting one another is essential to achieve sustainable performance.”
In the face of an obsolete view surrounding mental health, Jérôme asserts that discussing emotions is not something to be embarrassed by and explains that looking after mental health is just as important as looking after oneself physically.
“An analogy that I have is that addressing your mental health is no different to working on another part of your body. I view my brain as just another muscle that can be trained.
“People go to the gym to work on their physical fitness and I treat my mental health in the same way. I’m not afraid to seek help and I’m not afraid to admit that I’m not ok. That isn’t something to be embarrassed about.
“People mistake performance for always pushing blindly but that is an archaic view. Mental health and wellness are a part of that too and that is why I always try to focus on my needs in the present. This is a value shared by all of our team partners and especially by our new wellness partner, Craft 1861, who are really supporting us with these efforts.”
“I figure out how I can achieve my goals and I take care to have moments for myself in which I can disconnect from the world around me and my stresses.
“I have strengths and limitations and there are aspects of my personality that I am always working on.
“Acknowledging my own mental health is a crucial part of that process and awareness around the emotions that we feel and the importance of speaking up has never been so important.”