Haas F1 rookie Nikita Mazepin says he is undergoing special training to control stress levels during a race using a technology associated with lie detector tests.
Mazepin will step up to Formula 1 next season with Haas, where he'll race alongside Ferrari protégé Mick Schumacher.
As he prepares for his rookie season as a Grand Prix driver, the 21-year-old Russian is fine-tuning his physical regimen but also managing his mental approach with the help of a dedicated coach affiliated with Ferrari.
"For the last three years I have been working with an Italian who also works with the Ferrari team," Mazepin explained, speaking to Match TV.
"We prepare with the same sensors that are used in a lie detector. That is, you collect a lot of information on your body and try to control them with the help of breathing and other auxiliary things to reduce stress in moments of strong pressure, like at the beginning of the race or at the end, when you need to defend your position."
Mazepin said he changed his fitness team after a very difficult 2019 season in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, and now relies on two different trainers.
"After I had an absolutely complete breakdown in 2019, we decided to change 90 percent of my entourage," he said. "
"I swapped my coach for two. One is a physiotherapist who is a professional in his field, and the other is responsible for my physical training.
"And I plan to move to F1 with them - I really need the people who lifted me off my knees in motorsport in order to try to achieve success in the next years too."
The Russian driver, who tested F1 machinery in the past with Racing Point and Mercedes, has been working hard to improve the strength of his neck, a weak area in the past.
"My focus is on my neck. We were talking about my first Formula 1 tests – and I had to end them early because of the pain," he said.
"The feeling you get when you hit the brakes after a long straight… it feels like you’re hitting the wall. Because the cars are so good at braking."