Romain Grosjean says working with a sports psychologist helped him improve his Formula 1 performances after causing a huge crash at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix.

Grosjean was handed a one-race ban for triggering a first corner collision that wiped out championship contender Fernando Alonso at the start of the 2012 event at Spa, an incident that came during an accident-prone start to his F1 career.

The Frenchman was involved in a number of opening-lap clashes throughout the season and was described by Red Bull’s Mark Webber as a “first lap nutcase”.

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In a piece for The Players’ Tribune, Grosjean credits his sessions with a psychologist shortly after the race as being key to overcoming a tough period of his career and ultimately maturing his approach to racing.

“I was introduced to a sports psychologist in Paris a few months before the race in Spa, and I began meeting with her regularly after the grand prix - and I haven’t stopped since,” Grosjean said.

“Our sessions have changed my career and my life, without a doubt. F1 is such a heady sport.

“As drivers, we’re so isolated and mistakes we make impact a team that consists of hundreds of people across the world.”

Grosjean admitted the crash was instigated by him driving “beyond the limits” in his desire to achieve a maiden grand prix victory that he believed was possible following a positive run of results.

“It was a difficult weekend,” he explained. "I was all over the place, mentally, for a few days.

“I couldn’t think straight - I couldn’t think about getting in the car again.

“Above everything else, I’m glad nobody was hurt. I learned a lesson - a big one - that day: An F1 race is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

“One of the most important things I try to take away from our meetings is the idea of the big picture,” Grosjean added.

“That there is so much more to a race than Lap 1. That there is so much more to a season than one race. And there is so much to who I am than my F1 career.

“I’m a father, a husband, a wannabe chef. All those things matter, a lot.

“And it’s not that I didn’t know that, but for me, it was about prioritizing my life and getting myself - my mind - right, before I could figure out how to be the quickest again.”

Grosjean recovered strongly from a mistake-ridden start to the 2018 season to score 37 points in the final 13 rounds of the campaign and help Haas secure its best-ever finish in the constructors’ championship.

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