The secret to succeeding in high pressure situations might be found in the minds of racing drivers, according to Ford's latest investigation.
Using EEG (electroencephalography) headsets on a number of our professional drivers – including five-time FIA World Rally Championship winner Sébastien Ogier and three-time FIA World Touring Car Championship winner Andy Priaulx – we monitored the brain activity that deals with focus as they took on a racing simulator.
We then took some everyday drivers and did the same, which proved racing drivers minds were far more capable at dealing with the stresses involved.
However, with simple breathing and meditation exercises, plus a visualisation technique that uses keywords to describe the task ahead, the everyday drivers repeated the test… and improved their focus and performance by as much as 50 per cent, almost on a par with the pros.
Based on the research, we’re now developing an EEG-equipped racing helmet for our pro drivers, where brain activity data can be transmitted back to the team during a race alongside other in-car car telemetry. Understanding a driver’s mental state might just be the next frontier in performance.
So next time you’re faced with a tough interview or an important presentation, just get into the mindset of a racing driver and you’ll be winning at life.