Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Hungaroring, 2013

Tost expects to keep Vergne in 2014

2014 F1 season

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Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Hungaroring, 2013Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost expects to keep Jean-Eric Vergne in his team next year as he looks set to be passed over for the Red Bull drive.

Vergne’s team mate Daniel Ricciardo had a test for Red Bull at Silverstone last week and is in competition for a seat at the team with Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen.

However Tost said that missing out on the Red Bull drive will not necessarily mean the end of Vergne’s F1 career. “I’m convinced that Jean-Eric Vergne will race next year for Toro Rosso,” he said.

Tost claimed Ricciardo’s greater experience than Vergne – he spent the second half of 2011 racing for HRT – made him a more attractive option to Red Bull.

“We must not forget that Jean-Eric came later into Formula One and why Red Bull Racing is thinking about racing with Daniel Ricciardo next year is simpoy because he is more experienced,” said Tost.

“He showed a very good performance in the first half of the season but Jean-Eric Vergne is quite close to him and it’s not that Jean-Eric Vergne is out of the team he is, as far as I’m thinking next year, within Toro Rosso.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Tost expects to keep Vergne in 2014”

  1. I would like if they retained Vergne so we can use him as a benchmark to the newly promoted driver (assuming Ricciardo goes to Red Bull): that way, we have a benchmark for how good Ricciardo really is in Vettel, which consequently shows how good Vergne was/is which in turn can be used to judge Da Costa (or whoever else may be promoted, but likely Da Costa).

    If Da Costa happened to beat Vergne, we would know he is equal to or better than Ricciardo and consequently if Ricciardo fared well against Vettel then we’d know both were top drivers!

    1. That and keeping the pressure on Ricciardo – perform or be replaced by Vergne like @vettel1

      If DaCosta sets out beating Vergne, we know he is better than Ricciardo already. Because currently Vergne is hardly beaten by Ricciardo when they are about equal in results with Vergne actually leading on points again. And it will be a more experiencede Vergne next year too.

      1. @bascb absolutely also: I’m keeping a very close eye on Ricciardo in this phase of the game when no contracts have apparently been signed.

  2. I suspect Helmut Marko may feel slightly differently.

    1. does marko or mateschitz even care about what tost thinks or expects?

  3. “We must not forget that Jean-Eric came later into Formula One and why Red Bull Racing is thinking about racing with Daniel Ricciardo next year is simply because he is more experienced, […]”

    That.. is the biggest nonsense story I’ve heard today. With Raikkonen and Ricciardo, the difference in experience is indeed quite significant, but seriously: what difference does half a year of retiring with engine problems and moving over for blue flags add to a driver’s CV!?

    If you look at how they performed last year, Ricciardo and Vergne were quite closely matched, claiming 20th and 21st in last year’s F1F Driver Rankings. There is virtually no difference between the two; but experience definitely isn’t the deciding factor. It has probably got to do with marketing value: drivers from two continents will appeal to more people than just having European drivers in the car.

    I hope Vergne will hang on to that Toro Rosso seat, even if that will mean Da Costa loses out. He is a very good driver who could at least be handed a chance to prove himself, so as to get a chance at a different team, before being thrown out of the RB program like Alguersuari and Buemi. Basically what I’m saying here is that he should be given the chance the other two RB drivers never got – though I’m aware that the Red Bull program probably won’t be so caring.

    1. before being thrown out of the RB program like Alguersuari and Buemi

      Replace ‘RB program’ with ‘Toro Rosso’

    2. what difference does half a year of retiring with engine problems and moving over for blue flags add to a driver’s CV!?

      It hards them. McLaren won’t use the same path for the next Hamilton because only in F1 he had to deal with adversary.

      So, it is valueable experience, but I suspect that if the points situation was reversed (Ricciardo having more points) they would say: look at the points!

      1. First line was meant to be in blockquote

  4. I don’t think it is such a bad thing for Vergne to stay in Toro Rosso. I mean, he is still racing in F1 in a (sometimes) moderately competitive team. We don’t know how competitive Red Bull will be in 2014, and although RBR has much more resources that doesn’t immediatly mean that Toro Rosso can’t build a relatively competitive car. And given that they want to share more technology between each other next year, who knows what they can achieve?

    Also, not going to Red Bull doesn’t mean he will never make it to a top team. He is good. Maybe not brilliant, but consitently good. Perhaps one or two seasons will make him mature into a very good driver and other teams will have interest in him. We don’t know. I personally like how he drives, and he has been for the last one and a half seasons in about the same level as Ricciardo (who many people think worthy of a Red Bull seat).

    He is not a driver that I cheer for but I definitely believe his presence is a worthy contribution to the F1 grid.

    1. Agree 100%

  5. funny, Vergne was faster than Ricciardo today. In my fantasy I am wondering how Vergne would have done at last week test. Ricciardo was a tenth off Sebastian on RBR Car and on pure speed JEV is second to none. I saw him live last year in Abu Dhabi (where I work as an instructor) and his lap times were equal or best than Vettel on the same car. Surely RBR have their own good reasons for scrapping him and I hope JEV will take this decision as a boost to outdrive Ricciardo.

    1. @nuvolari71

      on pure speed JEV is second to none

      Are you watching the same Vergne as us? The one who is significantly slower in qualifying than Ricciardo? Pure speed is not his forte, consistency in the races is.

      1. funny again, DR started 8th, lost 5 positions for 13th, JEV started 14th, gained 2, for 12th… i mean, anything else?

    2. IIRC, he was a few tenths off Webber’s time in the YDT, leading to the infamous comments that he’d do as well as Mark. And his pure speed cannot be “second to none”, when Ricciardo has outqualified him the majority of the time.

  6. That’s what they said about Jaime two years ago…

    1. Thank you, you saved me from having to post exactly that @kingshark!

      I say we wait and see. First how Kimi decides, then what they do with their STR drivers left.

  7. “Vergne has our fullest confidence. ” If he was a football coach that would mean that they are about to sack him. .

    1. not just in football …

  8. i feel bad for him, he out-scored ricciardo last year and the same thing is happening in 2013 (so far)
    he’s had a lot of bad luck this season, unlike his team mate

    tbh, i’d say vergne deserves the red bull seat more than ricciardo does..

    1. @rigi qualifying is the major problem: he’d be we’ll behind Vettel in all likelihood and probably wouldn’t be able to make up the difference in the races. Ricciardo may however be dragged along and so his race pace will improve – I maintain that it is easier to find race pace than qualifying pace for a driver.

  9. What I think is the bad part of the RBR deal/ STR drives, is that STR really does not offer any potential apart from the promotion to Red Bull (because they have the sole power to decide about promotions and drivers at STR – with hardly a tought about giving the drivers a chance anywhere else if they do get dropped), so even when a driver looks solid, if there is no place at RBR they can end up nowhere.

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