Romain Grosjean fully expects rivals to try to take advantage of the pressure he is under at the start of the Korean Grand Prix amid his controversial run of first-lap crashes. But the Lotus driver insists he can prove that he has conquered the issue in Sunday's race.
Just a month after being banned from the Italian GP as a punishment for triggering the Belgian GP first-corner pile-up, Grosjean ran into Mark Webber on lap one in Japan, provoking the Red Bull driver's wrath.
Grosjean is determined to avoid further incidents in Korea, and acknowledged that other drivers might try to take advantage of his likely caution.
"I think drivers will play with the fact that they know I will be in a difficult situation. It's not a secret," he said. "But never mind, I'll do what I need to do. I've done hundreds of starts in my life so I know deeply in me how to take it. I just need to get the right objective and the right questions at the right time."
He added: "We have to get the proper objective for the race tomorrow and not get confused, and take extra safety if I need to."
Grosjean said he had reflected extensively on his Suzuka mistake since last Sunday's race.
"I think this week was quite helpful in terms of working on myself, and I hope tomorrow I'm going to show it," he declared.
With some rivals and commentators accusing Grosjean of carrying bad driving habits from the feeder categories, the 2011 GP2 champion accepted that he was adjusting to starts being less crucial in Formula 1.
"In GP2, everybody has the same car and at the start everybody is able to win," Grosjean said. "Yet today after qualifying we are where we should be: seventh. That's our performance, more or less. Two McLarens, the Ferraris and the Red Bulls are quicker. That's a fact. So in the race you know where you should end up and whether we are ninth, fifth, eighth or third after the first corner, then normally in a long race and with strategy [a car this competitive] should finish seventh or eighth.
"That's why you need to understand things when you come to Formula 1. Even if I am 10th or 11th after the first corner, the car performance should help us to come back and to get a proper race and finish where we should finish."