Sixth place shows my potential – Vergne

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

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Jean-Eric Vergne said he was “extremely happy” after equalling his career best result of sixth in the Singapore Grand Prix.

Vergne does not have an F1 seat for 2015 as Toro Rosso are to replace him with Max Verstappen.

“The end of the season is where I need to push for next year,” Vergne admitted after the race. “I think I’ve shown my potential and I think I did everything I could today.”

Vergne picked up two five-second penalties during the race, the second of which was added to his finishing time, despite which he remained in sixth place.

“I was not good yesterday in qualifying, I made a mistake and I told the team that I was going to make it up to them in the race and that’s what I’ve done,” he said.

“So I’m extremely happy for everyone in the team. It’s a great result – sixth is like a podium for us.”

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

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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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59 comments on “Sixth place shows my potential – Vergne”

  1. That was just in time for Vergne. With this result he certainly draw attention. After two weekends where he was slower than Kvyat this was just what he needed. If he deliveres more of these performances over the coming races he will increase his chance to be on the grid next year by a huge amount.

    1. “Just in time” but 18 months to late, pity (for him) he didn’t make such an effort every chance he had.

    2. I don’t know how much Kvyat’s race has been affected by not having water to drink. He even considered parking the car at some point because of he felt a bit weak.

      However, JEV did a great job.

  2. He also received two penalties… but I was extemely satisfied to see his progress in the last laps. Bottas had done perfectly well to keep everyone behind for half race but Vergne overtook three drivers with no hesitation and deservedly took 8 points.

  3. Formula Indonesia (@)
    21st September 2014, 16:43

    He’s not only deserved STR seat but maybe RBR seat if Vettel move to McLaren

    1. @f1indofans really?

      I think he just impressed everyone with a fantastic 5 laps, but in the same way Timo Glock stunned the world by keeping a bunch of cars behind in the Marussia a couple of years ago.

      A good bit of a race doesn’t mean anything in terms of his future. Let alone filling the seat of a 4 times Champion driver and a 4 times Champion team.

      1. Formula Indonesia (@)
        21st September 2014, 16:49

        We’re not talking about quality, but potential. A lot of f1 fans doubted Ricciardo will do anything to Vettel, but he prove 95% of then wrong, and now he thrashing Vettel. Verge may not proven yet, but he showed that he had potential

        1. @f1indofans so did Alguersuari… and Buemi back then.

          But JV isn’t that much ahead of Kvyat and lost quite badly to Ricciardo… others have been fired with more to show.

          1. @fer-no65 lost quite badly, eh? From what I remember the team-mate battle between them was actually quite close with Ricciardo leading in 2013 due to his qualifying pace.

          2. Formula Indonesia (@)
            22nd September 2014, 9:48

            @fer-no65 look at my comment again and I said about potential JEV is also matching Dan in Toro Rosso, and JEV is a fighter, remember that he hold Rosberg in Hungary, that is a class.

      2. I think its clear now that most of the drivers in the Red bull young drivers program are fantastic and all possible future world champions, Vergne matched Riccardo, who is now matching and beating the said four time world champion. It will be a shame to see him go…. but I do want VDG in that Sauber.

        1. Van der Garde!? Vergne is 5x the racer VdG is imho.

          I’d say RIC is thoroughly beating Vettel, Vergne was matching RIC (JEV had slightly better race pace, slightly worse one lap pace) so I don’t see much difference between Vettel and Vergne other than VET having the advantage of driving a Newey for the previous 4 yrs.

          It would be a shame if guys like Massa, Button, Perez, Maldonado, Ericsson, Gutierez, Magnusson, Sutil and Chilton have drives and Vergne does not imho

          1. Massa? Button? Perez? Magnussen? Do you seriously compare these drivers with the 5 others you wrote?

        2. It seems JEV can get the Sauber seat if they survive and if he “outbids” Van der Garde.

      3. I think he just impressed everyone with a fantastic 5 laps, but in the same way Timo Glock stunned the world by keeping a bunch of cars behind in the Marussia a couple of years ago.

        Timo Glock deserved a better career than he got. He had a bunch of good races at Toyota and was very consistent, he was a victim of them pulling out. And Glock did beat every teammate throughout his career.
        However, getting or not getting an F1 seat always had a huge luck-ingridient to it, and there have been worse things happening than JEV not getting a drive. Johnny Cecotto was definitely closer to Senna´s speed than 3-time-champion Piquet (not to mention the one-time-champion Damon Hill, who was full seconds off that pace), yet Cecotto never drove F1 again after the 1984-season with the Rookie Senna as a teammate.

    2. They would actually. … Toro Rosso is a junior team. Every junior driver gets 2 years amd then its ‘up’ or ‘out’.

      In fact If Webber had been 10 yrs younger and would have stayed with RedBull, RIC would have been ‘out’ as well.

      One might wonder if that’s a harsh policy or not but at least it’s clear to everybody who signed for the Red Bull junior team beforehand.

      Besides, what’s the difference with say Force India who dumb Di Resta after he got beaten by Sutil then Hulkenberg and then Sutil again. Most drivers at any team have about two years to show something and even if they do there’s no guarantee tgere is a place for them in F1 because maybe some new fresher talent has surpassed them already. Others have a lot of money like Maldonado and pay for a prolonged stay. At least you can’t criticize RedBull (and thus Toro Rosso) for prioritizing pay drivers.

  4. Vergne deserves a seat in F1 more than Maldonado, Sutil, Gutierrez, Ericsson and Chilton.

    1. Formula Indonesia (@)
      21st September 2014, 16:47

      Much more than all of them. He’s matching Ricciardo and Ricciardo thrashed Vettel. This race he showed he could also beat Vettel if RBR pick him over Ricciardo

      1. So consistently poor qualifying doesn’t come into the equation? I agree that JEV is a solid driver but he clearly has room for improvement. I don’t think JEV has the raw speed that Ricciardo has and that’s why RBR took him over JEV.

      2. @f1indofans, oh my, you’re so very…scientific in your analysis. But just for the fun, why not? And if Vergne was the partner of Schumi in Ferrari, he would have trashed him too. And perhaps won all the titles Schumi won there. Or if he was partner of Alonso, he would have trashed him too! Oh my god, this is so funny!!! I could stay all night saying non sense things like this…

        1. Formula Indonesia (@)
          22nd September 2014, 9:13

          no I’m not saying that, but he also may deserved a chance in big teams @yes-master

          1. @f1indofans, with that I agree. He really deserves. But, unfortunately that is a scenario very unlikely to happen.

          2. Formula Indonesia (@)
            22nd September 2014, 9:35

            i just cleared my answer, that he had the potential and could have match Vettel, but it was a potential not a rating

  5. I’m not sure about the impact of today’s drive.
    I wonder how teams might view a driver who puts in great drives only when looking for a new engagement.

    1. I think it shows good character that he didn’t just give up knowing the team gave up on him. It is also a good drive when he knows he is under pressure to show other teams his best pace.

      A good guy and handles pressure, any team would sit up and take notice i think. Good to do it now at the beginning of the silly season.

    2. @ph
      Works for Massa.

      1. It can work for anyone. You’re only as good as your last race.

    3. It’s better than doing a di Resta…

  6. JEVs overtaking moves were a highlight for me watching the race in the grandstands. He sort of opened the floodgates in overtaking Bottas IIRC.

  7. Good driver, capable… but there’s nowhere for him to go next year unless they have three-car teams.

    Top teams all sorted/have shortlists he won’t be on, lesser teams need a pair of £8m+ sponsor bunnies and he doesn’t have that.

  8. Vergne is imo F1 material – If you have guys like Maldonado, Sutil, Ericsson and others driving around then he definitely deserves a seat.

    1. We used to be just as enthusiastic about Kobiashi.
      Many of us believed he was a better, more exciting
      competitor than half the grid two/ three years ago. But you don’t hear that huge excitement and support for him any more. And it’s to the great detriment of F1 that the Vergne’s and Kobiashi’s are marginalised because FOM run a dishonest reward system that completely
      excludes great talent while second-and third-rate pay drivers get to drive the finest race-cars in the world.

      1. We used to be!!!! I l still am and wait in till Japan next time round when you see a sea of green in the grand stand which shows im not the only one.

      2. I am still supporting Kobi, no idea why he didn’t take donations in English……

  9. One result won’t change the fact that he is likely to be heading up Nissan’s LMP driver line-up or as a reserve next year rather than racing in F1. His only F1 chance is Sauber, but with Van der Garde set to replace Sutil and Ferrari rumoured to be evaluating whether it is worth subsidizing a Sauber drive for Bianchi (which would presumably mean paying as much as Telmex do, so Sauber are not loosing out by not running “Steve”) so they assess him with regards a Ferrari drive in 2016, I don’t see room for the unquestionably F1 worthy Frenchman. Put simply, the faster teams are saturated with talent, and the lower teams require a budget, which JEV doesn’t have…

    1. @william-brierty, and if Button leaves Maclaren? Couldn’t he be a proper choice, as Mag’s partner?

      1. @yes-master

        Surely they would prioritise Grosjean over Vergne?

        And I can’t see a Vergne to Lotus happening, because I would imagine they’d look for a driver with a bit more cash.

      2. I’d see Grosjean to McLaren and maybe Vergne could go to Lotus

      3. @yes-master – If McLaren admit defeat with Alonso for the long term, which is unlikely in that he could quite easily be tempted in 2016 if Honda show well next year, then McLaren have a list of candidates to replace Button (Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Vandoorne), none of which are JEV. If McLaren accept that neither Alonso or Vettel can be coaxed, it is most likely that they will buy Hulkenberg out of his Force India contract and then strike a deal with the team, as they did with Perez, to place Vandoorne at the team (or they could hire Grosjean and place Stoffel at Lotus). However with McLaren standing such an excellent chance of nabbing Alonso in 2016, there is no point promoting Hulkenberg or Grosjean simply as a stop-gap period, and certainly no chance for Vergne…

        1. @william-brierty

          However with McLaren standing such an excellent chance of nabbing Alonso in 2016…..

          I think you are drinking the same stuff as Ron Dennis! And whatever it is it isn’t Johnny Walker. That is a whole lot of assumptions, Honda hasn’t built a decent F1 engine since the last V12!

          1. @asanator – Alonso will only require two triggers to make that move in 2016: a lack of improvement from Ferrari (which is likely due to their engine issues – something James Allison can’t improve) and a strong showing from Honda (which is equally likely dint of their Mercedes-esque budget). What is so far fetched about that? Have no doubt that Alonso would return to McLaren if it meant a better shot at the WDC…

          2. @william-brierty

            a lack of improvement from Ferrari (which is likely due to their engine issues – something James Allison can’t improve)

            – Well That is a BIG assumption, you can be sure that the Ferrari engine will be vastly improved before 2015 – James Allison has nothing to do with the engine design

            a strong showing from Honda (which is equally likely dint of their Mercedes-esque budget)

            – ANOTHER BIG assumption, Honda have had a huge budget in the past and achieved nothing, they haven’t designed a GOOD F1 engine since their last V12, and Ferrari already have a years worth of experience with the new motor and software.

            Aside from the above McLaren haven’t built a decent chassis for the last few years, although they are trying to buy in the the talent at the moment, and Alonso has previously said that he won’t go to McLaren whilst Emperor Palpa…..I mean Ron Dennis is there. ;)

  10. “The end of the season is where I need to push for next year,”

    No Vergne, that is why you are being replaced. You should push the whole year.

    1. I’m sure he has been. He’s been having his best season. It’s just the way the system works at Red Bull.

      1. It’s just the way the system works at Red Bull.

        @deej92 – No, it’s merely Marko stooping to the ridiculous to stop Mercedes from nabbing Verstappen by offering him the only thing Mercedes [rightly] thought was off the cards: a race seat for 2015. In doing so Red Bull have not only likely compromised the career of Max by not allowing him a full learning process, but also screwed the careers of Vergne, Sainz, Lynn and Gasly. It is a move that has profoundly ruined the 2015 driver market…

        1. @William-brierty I agree, the implications of placing Verstappen in the seat are going to felt widely, although I think Vergne would’ve had to produce miracles this season to have kept his seat for next season regardless, with Sainz, Lynn and Gasly previously in line before Verstappen jumped the queue. It isn’t quite as harsh as the Alguersuari situation, but it seems Red Bull have just cut all ties with Vergne (not helping him look for a seat unlike McLaren with Perez) and it’s onto the next young driver to audition for two or three seasons. That’s the harsh reality of Marko’s young driver conveyor belt.

          1. That’s the harsh reality of Marko’s young driver conveyor belt.

            I pointed out the obvious a bit here as I guess a good 90%+ of F1Fanatic members know exactly how harsh Marko can be.

          2. @deej92 – Even if the painting was on the wall for Vergne, at least by promoting Sainz or Lynn we could be assured of excellent performances straight out of the box, but Max has a remarkable leap to take in terms of learning that Red Bull can realistically only treat 2015 as a warm-up year. It would be less concerning for Verstappen if Red Bull hadn’t established a record of firing the struggling drivers they had previously promoted prematurely with Algersuari, in what was an equally abhorrent episode of Marko madness. Hopefully the astounding extent to which the Red Bull Junior Team is beginning to resemble the military meritocracy of a fascistic regime will begin to drive drivers from it…

          3. That’s the harsh reality of Marko’s young driver conveyor belt.

            It may well be, but it seems to work, Marko’s Harsh conveyor belt has churned out a 4 x World Champ and a 3x Race winner (Revelation of the season and best of the rest behind the Mercs). He’s doing something right.

            Didn’t Ricciardo replace Algesuari? Was that a bad move?

          4. @asanator I never said I was against it, I was just pointing out an observation. It’s a system that has worked wonders for Red Bull, and it’s the reason why I think the Alonso-to-Red Bull rumours are absolute nonsense. I don’t like to see talented drivers left in the lurch after such a short time, but I fully understand that Marko has to keep the system flowing. He needs to, especially with Vettel surely leaving in the next year or two.

          5. @asanator – The fact that they had another bright young talent to replace Jaime is irrelevant; the fact that they compromised his career so profoundly by promoting him prematurely is the point we are making. There is nothing to suggest from Jaime’s short junior career that he couldn’t have been every bit as good as Ricciardo, or Vettel for that matter. In the likely case that Verstappen finds himself struggling to trend water having been thrown in at the deep end in 2015, that’s two careers that Helmut Marko and his Red Bull Junior Team has ruined; two failures to add to Marko’s long list of two successes.

          6. @william-brierty He had 2 years in F1, if he didn’t impress enough for another team to want him then he’s had a fair shot, there was no seat at Redbull to promote him to (They didn’t seem to feel that he had the necessary goods and they would know) and there were other young hotshoes coming up behind him.

            To say that his career has been destroyed because he didn’t get any farther in F1 is a bit of a stretch as well, there are plenty of other top racing categories that lap up ex-F1 drivers of any age and plenty of talented drivers who never make it to F1 at all. Those drivers that join the Redbull program, do so in the full knowledge that it is a harsh environment and get funded through the junior categories which is a hell of a lot more than other drivers do.

    2. The problem for JEV is that until Germany, most of the pushing he could do with the car would have had to be in the literal sense of the word with 5 retirements. So far this year he finished only 4 times out of the points, and those were always between P11 and P13.

  11. Vergne did really well today. Those moves at the end and then the charge away from them to get a 5 second gap was very impressive. I’d love to see him get a seat – he was very competitive against Ricciardo last year.

  12. Where could he go next year?

  13. He will replace Alonso at Ferrari for 2015.

    1. Didnt the last (?) frenchman call the Ferrari a ” tractor” and got sacked for the blasphemy ?

      Cant see a tractor seat for Vergne in the next 100 seasons possible at all !

  14. Maybe Lotus ? If they’re still around by then and Grosjean moves, that is. AND ıf they need more money to survive (likely they do, rather than not) AND JEV manages to bring money.

    Lots of ands and ifs there…

  15. Ted Kravitz says there’s a chance he could drive for Sauber, but only if he has money, and I don’t see how he’s going to get any, and with van der Garde’s father in law’s money paying for his Sauber seat, the other seat will arguably be Gutierrez. According to Autosport he could be racing for Nissan in LMP1 with Heidfeld next year, that would a good option for JEV.

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