We all knew that being a Grand Prix driver was a pretty perilous occupation. But there are some perils we’d just never associated with it before.
David Coulthard has written in his autobiography how the determination to establish himself in karting as a young man drove him into obsessive behaviour and an eating disorder.
He said: “I stopped eating fattening food and, before I knew what had happened, I was bulimic. In my mind the only way to keep my weight down was making myself vomit.
“I have always taken racing seriously, even when I started out in karting. By my teens, however, my focus – in particular, my weight – took a slightly more sinister turn.
“I was nearly the same height as now but I weighed only just over nine stone.
“At first I was just very, very lean. I became skin and bone, but I weighed myself every morning, noon and night – in the evening if I was half a pound heavier, I’d get in the pool and swim.”
Now, he says, his weight is a considerably healthier eleven and a half stone.
This is a big admission in the macho world of motor racing – we say, kudos to DC for highlighting how eating disorders can affect a wider spectrum of people than the stereotypes may perhaps suggest.
And also the appalling pressures of trying to break into elite sport…