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Grosjean sought psych help over crashes

31 January 2013

Lotus F1 star Romain Grosjean has revealed that he needed professional help to get him through his lowest time in the sport in 2012, when he was being criticised from all sides following a number of on-track collisions.

"I don't think it went entirely the way I wanted, we had too many incidents," the French driver admitted of how his first full season in F1 had turned out.

One incident saw him branded a "first-lap nutcase" by Red Bull driver Mark Webber, while another saw carnage at the first corner of Spa-Francorchamps take out several of the leading championship contenders - including Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton - and for which Grosjean received a one-race ban for instigating.

"We had good results, quicker than I was expecting, but maybe I wanted a little bit too much," Grosjean conceded to Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz earlier this week, after the Lotus team unveiled its E21 contender for the 2013 championship.

"Not an easy end of the season but I think I've learnt how to put everything together for this year," said Grosjean. "We know that there won't be any more chances so I'll have to deliver what the team want.

"It's not a secret that I started work with a psychologist in September," he revealed. "It went very well during the winter."

It seem that the success of the counselling was a crucial factor in Lotus deciding to retain his services for another season, which explains why the confirmation that Grosjean was staying with the team for 2013 came relatively late in the year.

"I had a lot of discussion with Genii, the owner, to try to help them understand and take the right decision," Grosjean explained. "And when they called me to say, 'Okay we go again for one more year,' I was more than happy."

Team principal Eric Boullier said much the same about the process behind extending Grosjean's tenure at Lotus for another season.

"Since he got his ban last year we had pretty intensive discussions together," said Boullier. "A lot of change around him and a lot of support needed for him to understand. He had to find out by himself what to expect.

"If we had to continue with Romain, we would [need to] be comfortable that he would have understood that we wanted what I was expecting from him," said Boullier. "We had a couple of issues with Romain - the 2012 season didn't exactly match the expectation we had from him."

Boullier pointed out that Grosjean had won every major championship that he had competed for up till now, but that his approach to his F1 return in 2012 was "maybe not the most efficient one, and he got lost somewhere."


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