Ferrari's Charles Leclerc shares his methods of coping with pressure
What does Formula One's man of the moment Charles Leclerc do when he feels the intense pressure of a race?
Just breathe... and relax.
The 21-year-old Ferrari driver, who won the last two Grands Prix in Belgium and Italy, revealed his mental methods last night at Como Dempsey, where Singapore's official Ferrari importer Ital Auto held its 10th anniversary party.
Holding court in front of about 300 Ferrari fans, the Monegasque spoke with a maturity that belied his youth with his thoughtful replies to fans' questions.
When asked how he trains his mind to handle the intense pressure of an F1 race, he replied that he applies the mental techniques that he has picked up since young.
He said: "Mental training is quite a big part of our sport and I think in every sport.
"Every athlete at his 100 per cent level, they are as good as anyone.
"But what makes a very good athlete compared to one who is less good is probably the mental - to have the capacity to be always at 100 per cent, and that only comes from the mind.
"I've been working on that since I was very young. There are different things. You can work on concentration, which is very important, and also relaxation.
"There is quite a lot of pressure in sports, you always need to perform well at the right time.
"The pressure is always on, and I'm working to stay calm in these moments and be at 100 per cent of my capacity."
When probed on what he does to relax, he said he has learnt some breathing techniques that help him calm down .
To be sure, it takes more than just breathing techniques to win a race. Leclerc also attributed his success to the team behind him.
"From outside, it looks quite a lot like an individual sport, but it's actually a big team effort," he said.
"The whole engineering team, mechanics, all the guys at home.
"Obviously Mattia (Binotto, Ferrari team principal) is also helping us... it's very important that the harmony in the whole team is good."