Vergne: It was a disappointment I had to go through not to go to Red Bull
19 December, 2013
Jean Eric Vergne along with Daniel Ricciardo were the top candidates for the Red Bull race seat vacated by Mark Webber, and in the end it was Ricciardo who got the nod with Vergne confined to another year with Toro Rosso – missing out on a career defining move to the best team in Formula 1. Naturally the Frenchman was aggrieved.
Speaking to Sky Sport, Vergne revealed, “It was a disappointment of course not to go to Red Bull. As a racing driver you want to win races and be World Champion, and for this you need the best car – and Red Bull is the best car.”
“So it was a big disappointment I had to [deal with]. Then I had to look in the mirror and say, ‘Why did Red Bull pick him up and not me?’ I think that helped me a lot in trying to be better.”
Vergne will partner young Russian Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso team for the 2014 season.
“There is no other team I’d like to be with. First of all I stay in the Red Bull family and I really believe in the team. We have good plans for next year and the year after,” Vergne said.
“I love this sport. Obviously I would love it a lot more if I was running at the front but sometimes you have to be patient. It’s what I’m trying to do.
“Probably my biggest problem when I arrived in Formula 1 was to be too impatient. When you arrive from every category since karting you are used to winning everything and to be really in a bad mood when you finish second or third on the podium. I was this kind of guy; I was always fuming when I was not winning a race.”
Vergne made his F1 debut at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix, finishing the season with 16 points, which left him 17th in the F1 World Championship, beating teammate Ricciardo in the process. In 2013 he was 15th with 13 points to his credit, but trailed Ricciardo who scored 20 points on his way to 14th in the standings.
“When you arrive in Formula 1 and you’re fighting for P10 in this team it makes things really difficult and it took me a really, really long time to try and understand that it was a really good result to finish P10 or P8 and have a positive spirit.”
Despite the Frenchman not bagging any points in the final half of the 2013 season, Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost remains convinced, “Jean-Eric Vergne has a lot of potential and I’m more than happy [that] he’s with us next year. If we provide him with a good car he will show a very, very good performance.” (GP247)
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