Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean has credited his sports psychologist for helping him in the recent turnaround in his performances after a slow start to the 2018 F1 season.
The Frenchman had a tough start in 2018 as he couldn’t score any points in the first eight races of the season for various reasons. But since then in the next five races, Grosjean has scored four times to be 14th with 27 points – although still 22 less than Kevin Magnussen.
It has been a turnaround for the 32-year-old which he reveals was made possible due to the work behind the scenes with the help of a sports psychologist – someone who he has been seeing since the 2012 season when he had the race ban.
“I started seeing someone [sports psychologist] in 2012 after Spa and hasn’t stopped since then as vverytime in life, there is a new challenge and new things to deal with,” he said. “[As you know] I had a rough time early this year.
“And being able to bounce back and do some great racing took some work. To me, I think it is a right way to go and what I need to make sure that I perform well and make sure not to make the same mistake again.”
As per Grosjean, when a driver has a Lap 1 incident like he had in 2012, the issue is not the following race but it is the races at the same venue in the following years which is difficult for a driver to not make the same mistake.
“Actually the next race start is not that much of a problem [for a driver], coming back to Spa the other years is bit more challenging,” he said. “Still now since six years, when I am on the grid in Spa, I am always a bit careful from what happened there.”
Meanwhile, for the similar looking incident in Belgian GP this year involving Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, the stewards penalised the German with a 10-place grid penalty for Italian GP as opposed to a race ban earned by Grosjean.
Hulkenberg felt the two incidents weren’t comparable as the Frenchman’s history ensured he got that ban, while the German has been clean on Lap 1. “That was a bit different story and leading up to that event he had so many incidents that year in first laps.
“I think that just stacked up to, too many mistakes and that’s why the race ban came around, you can’t compare the two at all. I mean they look similar in the way of accident but I haven’t had history on Lap 1 so I don’t think that is appropriate at all.
“To a certain extent you put it out of your system, out of your mind but there might be some element of caution [for this race] because I’ll be starting from the back again, so I want to make sure I get further than last weekend,” he said.