Vergne on the verge

Jean-Eric Vergne will drive the Championship-winning RB7 at the forthcoming Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi, from November 15-17. Jean-Eric was runner up in this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 series. He has been with the Red Bull Junior Team since 2007 and in 2010 he won the British Formula Three Championship. This year he completed Friday driving duties for Scuderia Toro Rosso at the Japanese Grand Prix.

“I’m extremely happy that Red Bull Racing has given me this opportunity, it will be a massive experience for me and to be driving the best Formula 1 car is something quite amazing,” he said. “I will make the best out
of the three days, it will be an important three days and I’m looking forward to it.”

26 thoughts on “Vergne on the verge

  1. JEV was 3rd driver in Korea, not Japan 😉

    Probably would have been better for him if it was Japan, as he ended up in that wet Friday FP1 in Korea which didn’t give him as much of a chance to impress… We’ll see how he goes in Abu Dhabi, but he should have the added advantage of having driven the STR in FP1 for the F1 race weekend. Which will also give us all the chance to compare STR vs RBR cars!

  2. Sorry, I didn’t realise that you were just quoting the press release verbatim. RBR have fixed the error on their online version of the press release now, I see.

    Do you think we will be able to get a reasonable comparison of the RBR vs STR cars based on JEV’s laps, or are there too many variables at play between race weekend and the testing days?

    1. Michelle B

      Sometimes one does not think about these things. Information provided by teams is generally lightweight fluff, but it is usually right.

  3. The race is on for first Frenchman back in F1… Jean Eric Vergne, Romain Grojean or Charles Pic. Good times for French motorsport. Maybe we can have Magny Cours back too?

  4. What is going on with Red Bull’s young driver plan?

    They have 2 main drivers, Vettel and Webber. Vettel is certainly a keeper, but Webber has had his contract renewed mid-season, despite underperformaning. STR, as I understand it, is intended as a place for Red Bull to do young driver development. However, they haven’t promoted Alguerauri or Buemi, which means that they can’t think much of either driver because each has had over 2 years in F1, and yet neither was deemed worthy of replacing Webber. However, they’re hanging onto both for another season, while also farming out Riccardo to HRT and keeping Vergne waiting in the wings.

    This doesn’t seem to make sense. If either STR driver was good enough, they’d be in the main RBR team by now. But why keep two drivers who you (presumably) don’t think are good enough for RBR driving for STR when you have two other young ‘uns on the way up who will also want race seats?

  5. Nazdakka – As far as I know, STR have not confirmed their drivers for next year. When they do, I would be surprised if Ricciardo is not one of them.

    Joe – a bit off topic, but what (if anything) do you make of the “Rosberg to Ferrari” rumours doing the rounds today?

  6. @Nazdakka: I don’t think it’s necessarily about Buemi or Alguersuari being good enough but rather about RB not being able to make up their mind. They know what they’ve got with Webber. He’s a fine second driver. If they choose a new driver they probably want that driver for the somewhat longer term and they probably want to be sure they make the best choice (the problem is until not it isn’t 100% who is the fastest ones of the young drivers).

  7. Story no doubt whipped up by the British media-invented Massa v Hamilton “feud” … although to be fair, Ferrari have sacked better drivers for less.

  8. So, Paul Ricard July 2013, you say.

    Does that mean Spa will move back to July, too, in the even years?, or will that part of the calendar leap about from one year to the next? (not that other parts of the calendar don’t see frequent upheavals, too.)

    I’ve gotten used to looking forward to Spa+Monza in the late summer — ignorant or forgetful that the Belgian GP only moved to that part of the year in the late 80s, whereas the history books say Monza has been a September fixture since the 20s!

  9. Ah, OK, I thought STR were firm on the current pair for next year. If they are still making up their minds, then maybe one of the newer pair will get a drive. My mistake.

  10. Can I bring to attention my affection for the various pun titled headlines I often enjoy on this website? Brilliant as always!

  11. As RBR has no shortage of funds (thanks to profitable fizzy drinks), do they even need to have a young driver program? They could conceivably just buy whomever they wanted to. The Friday driver program would give them a first reserve.

  12. ANJ: I guess that it’s almost ‘for fun’ – they have the resources, staff that need something to do.. all part of the F1 package.

    Joe: In these horrific 2 weeks with no GP, we all look to you in such dark days, hoping you may fill the void with more, more, more little tidbits of your recent experiences in F1 travels, what/who you saw, anything…

    Appreciate you are busy (I guess?) but we still await.

  13. Adrian

    You need to look at the way Red Bull operates promotion across all sports to understand why they don’t just buy the best. Sponsoring the up & coming is much cheaper and more rewarding PR wise than just opening a chequebook and buying the best. They’re all about giving people ‘wings’ after all.

  14. Joe, I think you’d prefer to reserve judgement, but what’s your “gut ” feeling about Bruno Senna’s F1 future at Renault?

  15. Joe,

    Why is the Le Mans circuit never proposed as an F1 circuit? Surely it has a lot of following in France and all the facilities?

    1. Robert,

      Because the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, which owns Le Mans, is more interested in protecting its brand than helping F1 build its brand.

  16. Off topic:
    Nice new (mobile) lay out. Only a bit strange that you first have to scroll down to see whether someone else already said what you want… And then up again to post your comment.

    Maybe I just click desktop version, as I do on most sites, but your blog won’t remember, so I used to not bother and use the mobile version.

    You can of course not publish this, it’s purely to inform you about my experience with the new mobile layout

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