Vergne: Missing Red Bull seat “made me stronger”

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Jean-Eric Vergne says there was an upside to missing out of the Red Bull seat Daniel Ricciardo got.


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Good for me to miss RBR drive – Vergne (ESPN)

“I really took the time this winter to look myself in the mirror and realise things, and I realised it was actually good for me not to have gone to Red Bull, I believe. I’m happy to be here and it’s made me a lot stronger as a driver because, as I saw myself last year compared to this year, I was a really weak driver in the head.”

Kevin Magnussen Q&A: I’m determined to justify McLaren’s faith (F1)

“My first impressions are positive. It feels like it’s underneath you, which is always a good start. There’s not really much more I can add to that right now – we’ll only get a clearer idea of where we stand in terms of relative competitiveness once the testing continues in Bahrain later this month.”

Vee aggro (Darren Heath Photographer)

“Ferrari technical director James Allison did just that, warning fellow [Technical Working Group] members that the cars were likely to be ugly as a result of the new rules, and suggesting the teams consider a different route. Sadly for all concerned, Allison’s sensible words fell on deaf ears; his counterparts in rival teams told him the designs would not develop in the way he was predicting.”

Michael Schumacher: Coma challenges (BBC)

“It can be a very gradual process that can take several days or weeks. For the family, the initial fear about whether or not the individual will survive is replaced by fear of what the future will hold and what level of recovery their loved one will make.”

John Surtees on the year ahead (MotorSport)

“One opinion that seemed to be generally expressed is that whoever framed up the regulations for this year had no eye for aesthetics, and that the cars were all basically ugly.”

Senna: Photographs by Keith Sutton (Sutton)

“To mark the 30th anniversary of his debut and the 20th anniversary of his legacy, Proud Galleries presents the official Ayrton Senna exhibition, an exhilarating celebration of the man considered the world’s greatest racing driver.”

Jack Brabham’s lost final victory (Tobyhusseyreports)

“Turning the steering wheel to the apex in vein, the number five Brabham skids into the hay bales lining the circuit’s final corner.”

Tweets and pictures

“Money!! #tyson #trapstar”

Comment of the day

@Craig-o finally got around to watching Rush – here’s his view:

I finally watched it for the first time the other night. I do not watch many films because I seem to lose interest, but even as I knew the outcome I was gripped throughout. I felt focusing on the drivers off the track helped to show how they were very different and how they became unlikely friends. A film on Formula One was never going to be highly technical and all Hollywood but as an action film it is fantastic. As a documentary on the 1976 season (which it is not), it isn’t.

I thought it was brilliant. The extras on the DVD could have been better though??

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Chris Gordon-Smith, Charlieshan and Motor_Mad!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Gerhard Berger tested the Ferrari 412 for the first time on this day in 1994.

Although he declared himself happy with Ferrari’s contender for the new season, no fewer than five examples of the team’s new V12 engine failed during the course of this first test.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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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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74 comments on “Vergne: Missing Red Bull seat “made me stronger””

  1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    6th February 2014, 0:05

    I realised it was actually good for me not to have gone to Red Bull

    Whatever helps you sleep at night.

    1. Wow, you really know Vergne’s motives. You either have ESP or you’re completely delusional, thinking you magically know how other people feel. Call me crazy, but I’d put money down on the latter.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        6th February 2014, 4:35

        You seriously believe that Vergne would pass up the opportunity to drive for Red Bull just so that he can have an additional year of growth with Toro Rosso? Especially with a young and talented Kvyat determined to show him up at TR. I highly doubt that. Also the fact that if he has another indifferent year in Formula One then he’ll likely lose his seat for good.

        Sounds to me like he’s just trying to save face.
        But hey, what would I know, I’m just delusional. ;)

        1. JEV would obviously like to be driving for RB one day but it looks like he is looking at the positives of this rejection and he seems more focused and determined because of that. We will have to wait and see how this has changed him on track and whether he will outperform his teammate or not.

        2. Where does Vergne even hint that he would pass up such a chance @tophercheese21? I see a driver who did the right thing:
          He came up to a setback. And instead of blaming the unfair world, he went and had a look at himself, and at reasons why RBR had chosen Ricciardo over him. And he reflected on that to improve. I really see only positives in that.

          1. Indeed. However, if Kvyat seems to have the upper hand this year, it will likely be his last year in Formula One.

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            6th February 2014, 11:58

            It’s a classic case of looking at a line out of context.

            I realised it was actually good for me not to have gone to Red Bull doesn’t mean that it’s good he didn’t get the seat. He’s not saying it is good to have not gone to Red Bull. He is saying that the whole process of him missing out on Red Bull has had a positive effect and has been “good for him”.

            It’s like someone who gets seriously ill but manages to pull through at the last moment. They wake up saying that they have a whole new outlook on life and look back eventually and say that the illness had a positive effect on their life. It doesn’t mean that they we’re glad that they got seriously ill.

    2. “Weak driver in the head” Vergne can resort to all cliches in the book, no one but himself expects him to be a top driver and I would hint that he’ll make kvyat look good as he did with ricciardo, vergne may score well but i think he has had plenty of time, he and Sutil oh and i forgot massa whom will get thrashed by bottas.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        6th February 2014, 7:01

        I’m also very very excited to see Bottas this year. His precise and careful throttle and brake applications will come in handy this year more than anything, what with fuel efficiency leading to increased power, and he seldom suffers from throttle-brake crossover.

        He’s definitely one to watch.

      2. @peartree Can I have some time with the crystal ball you’ve been using?

        Plus, also stop speaking for others and speak for yourself. I believe JEV has the potential to be top driver. I also believe his potential is higher than the overrated Ricciardo whose deficiencies will be exposed this year for all the world to see. Why? Because in their two years together every time there were low grip conditions such as wet or just slippery track Vergne had the beating of him. Now this year such conditions will not be restricted to certain track conditions. These years’ cars lost a lot of downforce, while at the same time gaining a lot of torque. The cars are sliding a lot, and power over-steering as well. All I’ve seen from Ricciardo both in his F1 and junior career tells me such situation will mean Vettel will eat him alive and lead RBR understand their mistake and who’s the bigger talent between JEV and Ricciardo.

        Now I might be wrong. This after all is only my opinion, with certain logical assumptions. I don’t have crystal ball and neither do I presume to speak for everyone

        1. Never thought of it that way. We’ll see. :)

        2. @montreal95 sorry, I’m in complete disagreement with you there. Look at the qualifying scores: Ricciardo patently thrashed Vergne throughout their partnership. What does that mean? That Ricciardo has more natural speed. And as the saying goes, you can learn racecraft, but you cannot learn speed.

          Ricciardo demonstrated the former last season by for the first time convincingly outperforming Vergne in the races as an average, so clearly his progression has been more marked than Vergne’s. Which suggests to me that Vergne is close to his talent ceiling, whereas Ricciardo still exudes greater potential.

          Partnering him with the experienced (weird how things change, isn’t it?) Vettel, who obviously from performances such as Abu Dhabi last year knows exactly how to manage a race perhaps better than anyone currently on the grid, can only help further Ricciardo’s progress. And the competitive environment obviously demonstrated at Red Bull with Webber and Vettel’s many run-ins can only help solidify his inherent pace over one lap, against arguably the best in the business on a Saturday.

          I should note that I do not think he will be as good as Sebastian for precisely the reason that you have stated – he hasn’t demonstrated a prowess in the wet – but I firmly uphold that he was the logical choice for Red Bull, unquestionably.

          1. @vettel1 We’ll see shall we? I also dispute ypur claim that the fact Ricciardo was better than JEV in qualy proves that he’s naturally faster. It proves than in given circumstances in a given formula which suits him perfectly he’s faster in a single lap scenario. Does that mean he will for sure be good in qualy this year. No, and I think he won’t be. Ricciardo was good in qualifying also in F3 when you have a balance of power VS grip skewed towards grip. But in Fr 3.5 he was not that impressive, and certainly with comparison to JEV.

            Was his pace quicker in the races last season? I don’t think so,not consistently. JEV also had huge amounts of bad luck last season

            My point is Ricciardo struggles in a low grip scenario. It’s not just the wet. Look how Vergne comprehensively outdrove him in Canada. Yes, some of it was wet, but mostly it’s because Canada in general is a low grip track. This year, every track will be low grip simply because of how the cars are(also the tires being harder will contribute to that). The best drivers will always adapt, but I don’t think Ricciardo is one of them.

            To paraphrase what you said, IMO it’s easier for a driver whose style is suited to low grip conditions to adapt to high grip conditions than vice versa. And Ricciardo’s junior career is also ample proof of that. Remember how he lost the FR 3.5 title to Aleshin? He needed to improvise to fight with Aleshin in wet conditions and he couldn’t adapt. And I don’t think he can adapt now, hence he will struggle

            Anyway, that’s my opinion and we’ll know who got it right during the season. Or rather you will know as I won’t be watching F1 this season, until the lunacy of double points is cancelled. But that’s OT so I’ll end here

        3. @montreal95 I’m not thinking for JEV, it’s experience talking you see this situation often in your life, JEV hasn’t exploded and as it happens with explosives, they don’t go off on their own, JEV talked right when he came to f1 but he’s cracked under pressure as he states and he’s been slow to understand what he must do better, all those reasons make him believe he can improve but due to circumstances he really needs a miracle to change people’s perspectives especially if you take in consideration his benchmark is a rookie. When it comes to ricciardo it’s clear he’s fast but by no means no one expects him to trouble Vettel and that’s ok for redbull and vergnes is just a Frenchman pleasing renault and other sponsors for that reason i thought he had a shot in rbr. I think both of them need to show service because neither look like anything special until now so lets see fact is that ricciardo is in a better spot that’s all. To reply to you Ricciardo just seem to perform better immediatly after webber announced his retirement, and that mid season surge sealed their battle as things could had ended like in 2012 with jev outscoring ricciardo, for 2014 who knows you make good points but the harder tyres also helped helped ricciardo last season so i don’t know about the low grip theory of yours.

          1. @peartree I don’t think Renault needs a Frenchman pleasing them for starters. They want to win, that’s all.

            The tires last year hadn’t become any harder. They just switched from kevlar belt to steel belt and then back again. It changes some characteristics of the tires with regards to durability to overheating under a certain load. Steel belt hampered Red Bull, while the return to kevlar had the opposite effect. But by no means they were harder or softer this is just a completely different thing

            But I agree with a lot of what you said. And I’m not defending JEV. I’m disappointed with his performances so far, but for me the potential is still there, question will he use this final chance to realize it? It’s good at least that he doesn’t blame others for his failure so far. But Grosjean was a failure too, once. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see

    3. He’s just trying to see the bright side to things.

      Heck, Ricciardo never convincingly beat Vergne in their time together. Riccardo got the most coveted seat in F1 by narrowly beating Vergne.. so I guess that must hurt a little bit.

      To be honest none of the Toro Rosso drivers deserved a Red Bull drive. Ricciardo isn’t half the driver Hulkenberg or Bottas are

      1. @todfod “isn’t half” is a bit of an exaggeration but I do agree, Hülkenberg and Bottas are definitely better. It is just a shame they didn’t join the Red Bull young drivers programme!

        Or rather, it’s shameful that F1 is so fueled by sponsorship money.

        1. @vettel1 Red Bull young drivers programme vaccums big time, just ask robin frijns

  2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    6th February 2014, 0:14

    Susie looks great! I wonder how much make up she’d need if she had Ricciardo’s mouth :P

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      6th February 2014, 0:14


    2. @omarr-pepper
      Agreed!! She reminds me por Reese Witherspoon! Sexy lady!

    3. Someone should tell her that PDVSA is no longer a Williams sponsor.

      1. Lotus reserve driver!

      2. And that Williams don’t use Renault engines anymore… :/

    4. Toto is a lucky man to go home to that despite talking like Arnold…

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        6th February 2014, 4:38

        Whenever Toto is being interviewed, I’ve always wanted the reporter to ask him to just say: “Get to da choppa!” hahah

        1. There is a YouTube video of him saying “I’ll be baaack”. Haha

    5. While Susie looks great, these photos are bad. Especially that first one. She’s a beautiful woman and she doesn’t need this excessive amount of Photoshop. Airbrushing, adjustments, etc, the photo looks artificial and plain unreal.

      It’ll be a good day when magazine editors start to realize beautiful women don’t need to be airbrushed and thinned to the max in order to create nice cover pictures.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        6th February 2014, 12:08

        The problem is that people expect it now and are conditioned to believe that this is how people look. HD magazine photos don’t contain imperfections so you’d be putting her photo next to 50 others that have all been photoshopped and she’d look bad in comparison. No celebrity photos are unaltered. None.

        It’s the same with music. There is not a single album in the chart that hasn’t been autotuned. Everyone thinks it’s just pop music but it’s not. Every rock album is the same. Even if you can sing perfectly in tune, you’ll be autotuned because it’s what people’s ears are accustomed to now. The same goes for singers live. Most don’t mime anymore but they go through a huge rig that autotunes everything for them.

        1. You’re completely right – they all do it. That’s exactly why I hope some day magazine editors start to realize they are overdoing it immensely. I hate this “plastic look celebrities” we see everywhere.

          Heck I’m not even convinced that people would choose the above picture as the visually more appealing one when compared with a “normal” cover picture where Photoshop is used what it should be used for – editing out some errors (think lighting, composition), but not altering bodies and brushing them until the point where they look like Barbie dolls.

  3. What is it with Lewis and the foe-gangster “image”…..I mean …each to their own….but it convinces no one. The closest Lewis has been to a gun shot is probably his Merc backfiring….and seriously…a jumper with the image of a convicted criminal……a good boxer yes…..but come on Lewis….#think!!!!

    1. Its a cool jumper. Im going to buy one

    2. The closest Lewis has been to a gun shot is probably his Merc backfiring

      Lol you’re so mean! let the kid have his fantasies.

    3. Better than having a Sutil jumper.

      1. That would actually be cool! :)

    4. The closest Lewis has been to a gun shot is probably his Merc backfiring

      That cracked me up.

    5. The old ‘people should do what they like, unless it’s something I don’t like’, huh?

      1. Psuedo-gangsta thing is fine with me, but Tyson is a convicted rapist…

    6. The guy obviously feels lonely who wouldn’t can’t imagine the f1 world being a sorority, not to mention it’s primarily a white, wealthy circles cosmos. On the other his fans certainly feel less lonely with his tweets, it’s harmless so why the scrutiny.

    7. It seems to me that LH is desperately trying to create a new image for himself although all his efforts are rather unsuccesfull.

  4. How long before we get Susi Wolff helmet jokes…….if only it were a caption competition…..

    1. I bet she gives great helmet:D

      1. You went over my helmet!!!

    2. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      6th February 2014, 0:33

      She loves stroking a helmet.

    3. She sure buffed the crap off the helmet!! ;)

    4. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      6th February 2014, 2:54

      Honestly, that pic doesn’t look like her at all.. Odd angle I guess.

    5. Lol, thats truly sad guys…… try not thinking with your ‘finger noses’ for once eh?

    6. That helmet should replace Helmut

    7. The helmet is buffeting like crazy.

    8. Distasteful comment.

      1. @andae23 more sadly, she knew very well what she was doing.

  5. Darren Heath’s blogs are always a great read. Interesting to see him criticise the Technical Working Group for failing to address the nose issue, weren’t they also responsible for failing to close the double diffuser loophole back in 2009? Both James Allison and Ross Brawn (who spotted the DD loophole) have clearly seen the consequences of the TWG’s actions no matter how much their counterparts denied it, and you’ve got to wonder what the purpose of such an apparently disfunctional group actually is.

  6. Blimey, Vergne’s still harping on about losing out on the seat, even if it is in a positive way, somehow…

    For me, he was never a serious candidate for it, and I’d be surprised to see him continue into next year if his stagnant form continues. Considering it’s highly unlikely he’ll get a Red Bull seat, there won’t be much need for him if he doesn’t improve as he’ll be clogging up the Toro Rosso conveyor belt of potential Vettel/Ricciardo replacements, whilst not doing much in the way of point-scoring.

    The pressure definitely isn’t off him despite not driving for Red Bull!

    1. Vergne = F1 2014’s DiResta. Insert top team comment HERE ;-)

      1. Paul’s way better than Vergne, he could race AND qualify as well as anyone when he’s in the groove, but they will both pay for their form being affected by off track pressure: Di Resta was constantly pushing for a top seat because he knew that having zero sponsorship, Force India would eventually replace him, and being overlooked/loosing his seat meant he made too many mistakes at the time when people sign contracts. Vergne had a fantastic 6th place at Canada, but after the Red Bull seat became available his form dipped.

  7. I don’t know what I find more entertaining: Alonso’s often bizarre samurai tweets, or the parade of (for me) cringe-worthy pictures that come from Hamilton. Either way, I hope both continue. They really brighten my day!

    1. Yeah, kinda makes them your everyday dorkies, compare to god like status the usual media trying to coat them in.

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      6th February 2014, 2:55

      @colossal-squid hahaha, add to the mix the Lotus “funny” twits and all Bernie’s / Luca / Marko nonsense. Its usually a bunch of epic fails!!!

    3. I see it pretty much the same way. Add to that the bad jokes and tweethandles from Lotus and it makes following F1 tweets give me something to think about!

  8. I remember when I was a child, I never understood why my sister and her friends would crowd around the telly, watching the Oscars, and cattily tear apart how every female celebrity looked. It depresses me to think that there are a lot of F1 fans that have the same approach to the drivers, and everything they do/wear/say/feel/etc. Excuse me if I’m wrong, but I believe we used to refer to those people as ‘petty b*tches’.

    1. I don’t know about cattily tearing apart, but I still don’t understand the Oscars.

  9. Apparently Susie showers dressed, feminism too much no!

    1. I’d say there’s a difference between not selling out your body for money and feminism, though. Otherwise, every woman who isn’t in the entertainment industry must be a feminist..

      1. @npf1 she said “…and never will” I was just joking but the way she felt the need to emphasize that she would not undress is consistent with women that are feminist not feminine, in my view that’s nothing more empowering in a woman but to be able to show her body with no regards, boobs are just boobs. I just want to clarify that this wave thinking is pure hypothesis, Susie could have meant anything more simplistic.

    2. She’s a Never Nude.

      1. Poor Toto…

  10. Because we have never seen male sports stars with some or all of their kit off, drenched in make-up probably and images then Photoshopped…

    Also Lewis can wear what he wants, it’s a cool top actually.

    Also thanks for the COTD Keith (:

  11. I should hope the car feels like its underneath you, Kevin.

    If it feels like its on top of you, something has probably gone very wrong.

    1. If it feels like its on top of you, you might be in a Red Bull trying to lap a Caterham.

  12. On a separate note, another GP2 principal passed away yesterday – the head of Russian Time, Igor Mazepa, aged 40. What a remarkable person, bringing the team to win CC in their first year and almost getting Bird to win DC. What an untimely loss…

  13. Yes yes yes Vergne. Whatever you say…

    There’s no point in even saying anything like this at all. We all know, you know, blah blah blah…

  14. I can’t believe this,…

Comments are closed.