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Vergne: "Difficult for Toro Rosso to reverse a decision"

  • Published on 28 Nov 2014 13:52
  • comments 1
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Jean-Eric Vergne says he was a contender to replace the Ferrari-bound Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull. But the Frenchman, who has instead been dropped from the energy drink company's F1 roster altogether, explained that circumstances simply conspired against him in 2014.

When Mark Webber retired at the end of 2013, 24-year-old Vergne was disappointed to lose out on the seat to his Toro Rosso teammate Daniel Ricciardo. A similar story unfolded this year: when Vettel made his shock decision to go to Ferrari for 2015, Red Bull once again chose Vergne's Toro Rosso teammate - now the Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat - as the successor.

Vergne, who now appears likely to rescue his F1 career with the Williams reserve role next year, told the French broadcaster Canal Plus: "What really didn't help me is that Red Bull had no idea that Vettel was going to go. They had had to sign and announce (Max) Verstappen very quickly, so obviously they were going to replace him with the older driver, because it made no sense to replace Kvyat after just half a season at Toro Rosso," he explained.

"Although the people at Red Bull had told me that if Vettel left the team it would be me who would replace him, I think it was difficult to reverse a decision that was made in August when they said I would not be with Toro Rosso or Red Bull in 2015. But at that time they had no idea that Vettel was going," Vergne added. (GMM)

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  • I'd be surprised if there weren't a few other, major considerations in Red Bull's quick choice of Kvyat and decison not to re-open that selection or extend his STR appointment after news of Vettel's departure had settled in. Some of those could relate to JEV's 2+-year performance statistics at STR, mainly as a backfield (versus midfield) driver. But he has talent and potential, as he showed in several later races this season. Also he has matured away from much of his initial cockiness as STR driver. So, I do hope that he is headed for Williams, where he can work with and learn from Suzie Wolff (new test driver) and the driver team of Massa and Bottas. Like Woody Allen said, "Seventy percent of success in life is showing up," so for any F1 driver, it's good to be in the paddock when the breaks come.

    • + 0
    • Nov 28 2014 - 16:36

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