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Marko rules out Vergne's return: 'He would be a newcomer to F1'

  • Published on 20 Jan 2020 10:11
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has closed the door on an F1 return in the Red Bull family for Jean-Eric Vergne.

The Frenchman contested three seasons with Toro Rosso, Red Bull's junior team, from 2012 to 2014, scoring a best result of sixth place (Canada 2013, Singapore 2014).

Following his departure from F1, he joined the all-electric Formula E series, where he has since become a two-time world champion, picking up eight race wins and 19 podiums.

Red Bull has rotated its drivers a number of times in recent years, however any return for Vergne at the team has been ruled out by Marko, who thinks there would be too much to learn all over again.

"That book is closed. If a driver like Jean-Eric Vergne wins the Formula E, the profile with requirements is completely different from what we need in Formula 1," Marko told Motorsport-Total.com.

"He would be more or less a complete newcomer in that. It would take him a whole season to get used to the peculiarities of the Pirelli tires."

Red Bull 'stricter' with junior team selections

Red Bull will run with Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon in the senior team for 2020, while Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly form AlphaTauri's (formerly Toro Rosso) line-up.

MOREMarko: Red Bull should win more than five races in 2020 | Gasly was confident of being competitive at Toro Rosso following mid-season demotion

Marko pointed out that Red Bull has become more stringent with its choices over who to place in the junior team in recent years.

"We finance these people for one or two full seasons," Marko stated. "Without that support, they would not even get this chance.

"In the beginning, the junior team was only meant to support certain drivers, but now a talent must have the potential to win a Grand Prix. The selection is, therefore, stricter

In the pecking order of the junior programme, the next candidates that are hoping for a full-time race seat in F1 are Juri Vips and Yuki Tsunoda, who will race in Super Formula and Formula 2 respectively in 2020.

Replies (7)

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  • Dert38

    Posts: 274

    Still Vergne >>>> Gasly + Kvyat + A;bon )))))

    • + 1
    • Jan 20 2020 - 11:04
    • 100% I'm still baffled by the fact that (1) Red Bull let him go in such an awful way, he didn't even get a chance to shop around the paddock and (2) that no other team ever picked him up. Vergne was very close to Ricciardo in performance in 2013. Verge also owned Kvyat in 2014. Yet, inexplicably, it was Kvyat that made it to Red Bull.

      • + 0
      • Jan 20 2020 - 19:47
    • Kean

      Posts: 663

      I was really surprised that Renault chose Magnussen over Vergne in 2016. I rated Vergne higher than Magnussen, plus the nationality thing, I was sure they'd go for Vergne.

      • + 0
      • Jan 20 2020 - 22:43
  • Kean

    Posts: 663

    So Vips wouldn't be a newcomer, and unfamiliar with the tires if he got promoted? Basically they want rookies that aren't newcomers. With that sort of criteria, no wonder they're having trouble with their junior program.

    • + 0
    • Jan 20 2020 - 14:01
  • I agree with Marko here. JEV would take much longer to adjust to the shock than a junior. Other important aspect is, JEV has to be interested in the first place.

    • + 0
    • Jan 20 2020 - 16:33
    • That much is clear. What didn't and still doesn't make sense is why they left Vergne go in the first place. He was demonstrably better than Kvyat.

      • + 0
      • Jan 20 2020 - 19:52
  • In theory he is correct. It's been a long time since Vergne was in F1, and even in an F1 car, so he'll be very unfamiliar with the current cars. Compare that to the rookies, who tend to get FP sessions and such with the cars the season before, and yes, he'll have less up-to-date experience. In practice however, Marko is a silly goose who ditched a good driver.

    • + 0
    • Jan 23 2020 - 17:25

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