Jean-Eric Vergne has shown little interest in the current rumours circulating the Formula 1 paddock, with regards to who will eventually replace Mark Webber at Red Bull. Despite currently competing in the outfit’s junior team, Toro Rosso, the general belief within the paddock is that Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo are the only contenders.
Despite a relatively competitive first half of the season for Jean-Eric Vergne, which has included a personal best of 6th at the Canadian Grand Prix, the Frenchman has allegedly dropped out of contention for the Red Bull drive alongside Sebastian Vettel next season. After the confirmation regarding Mark Webber’s decision to leave the sport, rumors immediately roared into life linking the Toro Rosso duo, Antonio Felix da Costa and Kimi Raikkonen to the vacancy.
However, over recent weeks only Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen have remained in contention for the coveted drive. Although the Finn’s manager explained that negotiations with Red Bull had ended during the summer break, many within the paddock are still confident he is still in contention to secure that drive alongside good friend Sebastian Vettel. Unlike team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne looks resigned to the fact that another season with Toro Rosso will ensue for 2014, with the 23-year-old stating he is happy to stay with the Faenza-based outfit for another season.
“The situation is pretty clear. I don’t have much to say.” Explained Jean-Eric Vergne, “There have been absolutely no [statements] from Red Bull Racing or Toro Rosso. I’m happy where I am. I try to focus 100 per cent on my season and all the races that are going on for the rest of the year. Therefore I don’t want to think too much about next year. Of course as a driver I wish I could have a car to win races but I will be more than happy to stay in Toro Rosso. It’s a good team. It’s a team building up, just getting better and better. We have a new factory, a lot of good people coming in and I would be more than happy to stay in Toro Rosso next year. Nothing else to say really.”
If Daniel Ricciardo does thwart Kimi Raikkonen in the quest for the Red Bull vacancy alongside Sebastian Vettel, then the general belief is that former GP3 star and current Formula Renault 3.5 Series driver Antonio Felix da Costa would team-mate the Frenchman in 2014. For Jean-Eric Vergne, the remainder of the season will be entirely centralized on producing the most competitive results possible as Toro Rosso aim to remain ahead of Sauber and Williams in the Constructors’ Championship.
Picture Copyright © Octane Photographic