Romain Grosjean says he was not ready to race in Formula 1 when he made his debut with Renault back in 2009.
Grosjean was fighting for the GP2 title when Renault promoted him to a race seat, replacing Nelson Piquet ten races into the F1 season.
Joining a double World Champion in Fernando Alonso, the Frenchman had a lacklustre seven-race stint, driving a struggling car in a team whose main concern was finding a way out of the emerging Singapore scandal.
Grosjean ended the season without a single point to his name but expected to be retained in 2010.
"I was told: 'You have seven Grands Prix to cut your teeth and in 2010, you'll be in the car,' " Grosjean said on French TV show On n'est pas couché.
"It was too early for me, clearly. I was 23. Nowadays, there are 17-year-olds who are ready for Formula 1 - I wasn't ready at 23."
"Also, I was managed by Flavio Briatore, who was banned from Formula 1 following the crashgate. I was part of what had to go when they wiped the slate clean. So I had to come back."
Help from a psychologist
Grosjean also had a rough patch upon his return to the sport in 2012 as several crashes earned him a one-race ban - and his career subsequently seemed to be hanging by a thread once more.
"I've been working with a psychologist since Spa-Francorchamps 2012," Grosjean added. "A psychologist who works with many high-level sportspersons. And it's been really interesting to see how to understand things, move forward, realise things before you live them."
"She made me more patient, she helped me understand why I made the right or wrong decisions and why it wasn't going the way I wanted. There was also fatherhood - when you're a high-level sportsman, you want to focus on your career, but at the same time, being a father is the best thing in the world."