Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Buddh International Circuit, 2012

Vergne: “I can improve a lot”

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Buddh International Circuit, 2012In the round-up: Jean-Eric Vergne says he expects to keep on improving as he remains with Toro Rosso next year:

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Vergne: New deal endorses potential (Autosport)

“It shows that the team trust us and our capacity – and especially mine – to still grow and to improve. My trend during the season is like this and I still have the feeling I can improve a lot, and the team knows it.”

No looking back for Karthikeyan on U.S. return (Reuters)

Narain Karthikeyan on the 2005 United States Grand Prix farce: “Everyone started the race… we didn’t know before the race. it was pretty weird to see all of them going out with the warm-up lap and back to the pits. Bridgestone had told us to race and we did.”

Looking back on Abu Dhabi (Force India)

Paul di Resta on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: “We took the safe option and got a ninth, but if we?d been a bit more aggressive, the tyre life was probably there to be fifth.”

Not so fan-tastic (TopCar)

“In Germany in July, Hockenheim, which in 1998 hosted 120,000 fans on race day, was forced to massaged its numbers to hit half that, while in Spain, Barcelona?s Circuit de Catalunya dreams of ever again hitting the 137,000 punters it feted in the mid-noughties. Monaco, too, was empty this year, while Turkey dropped off the calendar after attracting just 20,000 fans for three straight years.”

Tweets

Comment of the day

We always get lots of great suggestions for the Caption Competition and yesterday’s was no exception. Crackers, Necrodethmortem, Xjr15jaaag and Prisoner Monkeys all came up with great suggestions.

And here’s my favourite from @Tommyb89:

Christian Horner, Sebastian Vettel, Valencia, 2012

“I?ve downloaded McLaren?s new MP4-27 app… oh, it?s stopped working.”

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Brendan and Catalina!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

One year ago today there was much speculation over whether Kimi Raikkonen would make an F1 comeback. Former employers Martin Whitmarsh and Stefano Domenicali urged Frank Williams to sign him.

In the end Raikkonen did make his return – but of course it wasn’t with Williams – and he’s already won a race:

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

85 comments on “Vergne: “I can improve a lot””

  1. Vergne is right, one year isnt enough. He has done very well for his first year, especially against a semi-experienced team mate. Next year will be his make or break year for F1.

    Amazing top be typing this about someone of lesser age than me!

    1. i dont think both of them are good enough seriously!!

      their race craft are so bad that with DRS they managed to tangled with others while overtaking in valencia.

      1. That’s a very specific race you have pinpointed to make your statement about their worthyness. What about considering the rest of the seasons results?

      2. I bet you Ricciardo will be at Red Bull within 5 years

    2. If by semi experienced you mean spending 8 races in a HRT?

      Vergne has been dreadful this year if Ricciardo is his benchmark. Maybe Ricciardo is just insanely fast, but Vergne has been nothing special.

      At Abu Dhabi Dan lined up next to him with 2 sets fewer fresh tyres and still beat him overall. Thats forgetting the 8 tenths qualifying gap.

      1. And a lot of time testing for Red Bull/Toro Rosso. JEV has been on the books for a lot less time.

        1. Drop Valencia!
          11th November 2012, 22:43

          Nowadays a year as tester may mean an hour or 2 in a car…

    3. The Toro Rosso pair appear to have opposite strengths: Vergne has the better race pace but can’t qualify well enough, Ricciardo can qualify very well but then falls behind Vergne in the races.

      Personally I would say it is easier to improve race craft than qualifying pace (as some drivers just have a natural talent for pumping in quick times under pressure – Vettel and Hamilton for example, and none better than Ayrton Senna) so if I were to put my money on which of the current pairing would take the seat at Red Bull should Webber retire I would say Ricciardo. 2013 may change my opinion though.

      1. Vergne has the better race pace but can’t qualify well enough, Ricciardo can qualify very well but then falls behind Vergne in the races

        @vettel1 That may have been true at the beginning of the season, but is no longer the case. In the last 12 races (Canada to Abu Dhabi) Vergne has had 3 DNFs, and of the 9 races both have completed, Ricciardo is ahead 7-2 (including Korea where a brake issue cost Ricciardo a finish ahead of Vergne).

        1. @tdog – Ricciardo definitely has the greater potential to become a RBR driver in my opinion. Vergne is equal, if not marginally better, in the races but in qualifying he is lagging behind majorly.
          In the last race he was 8 tenths slower than Ricciardo in Q1, and then with track evolution in Q2 Ricciardo improved by a further 5 tenths. In India he was 5 tenths behind. It’s clear to see who’s the better qualifier!

      2. Vergne doesn’t have better race pace. I don’t know why people keep saying this.

    4. @jamesf1 It’s good that he’ll get another year but I do think he needs to at least up his qualifying. That said, he might be a good racer but that STR7 isn’t really doing him many favours.

  2. I can improve a lot

    I’ve got Faith no More “we care a lot” in my head thanks to this headline.

    1. @hairs I’m spotifying that right now. Will get back to you.

    2. Oh, Thanks. Got it there as well now :-) cc. @hairs

  3. you either got the talent, or you dont.

    There’s no such thing as improvement.

    At least it wasnt the case with kimi, alonso, vettel, hamilton when they start their career.

    1. Not true, Drivers do improve & all the drivers you listed required a year or 2 before starting to show just how good they were.

      Look how many mistakes Hamilton & Vettel made in there 1st few years, Yes Lewis was a title contender in his 1st & win it in his 2nd but made a lot of mistakes both years which cost him the title in 2007 & delayed him winning the championship in 2008.

      Kimi was beat by his team mate (Nick Heidfeld) in 2001 & was inconsistent in 2002/2003. Wasn’t really untill late 2004 that Kimi improved enough to be super fast consistently.

      Its true that you can spot talent pretty much straight away, However drivers do improve over time as the learn the cars, tracks & way of F1. Not every world champion burst into F1 like Hamilton/Vettel did & started looking like a future world champion in there 1st season.

      1. what i meant to say, your first debut will determine your potential. You wont be suddenly setting the world on fire if your debut has nth to do with it. Driver improve everytime, so does those with exceptional talents. Thats just pure excuses.

      2. TotalMoonRace
        11th November 2012, 1:44

        “Kimi was beat by his team mate (Nick Heidfeld) in 2001 & was inconsistent in 2002/2003. Wasn’t really untill late 2004 that Kimi improved enough to be super fast consistently.”

        Not really. Kimi was 2 points behind Nick due to more car failures than Hedfield.

        The mclaren car was super unreliable in 2002 with more than 10++ mechanical failures.

        And in 2003, with updated 2002 car and the failure of introducing the highly promising mp4-18 while others were on new chassis, kimi managed to fight the championship with Michael despite having won 1 race and ended up 2 points behind. Without engine failures he could’ve wrap the title without the fastest car. Im surprise you claim he wasnt consistent.

        Kimi proved he’s fast already in sauber, not until the late 2004 when the car was again slow and unreliable. Late introduction of new updates allow kimi to fight for few podiums and 1 hard earned win in Spa when he triumphed the arguably best car ever produced by maranello the F2004.

      3. In 2003, Raikkonen had 13 points finishes out of 16 races. 10 of them podiums. In 2004, he had more than double the points of his veteran teammate, Coulthard. I think it’s fair to say you can spot championship potential from a driver’s first couple years in the sport. In my years of watching F1, there’s Villeneuve, Raikkonen, Alonso, Kubica, Vettel, and Hamilton. I didn’t get too see Schumacher or Hakkinen in his early years. Some driver’s show flashes of brilliance, but that really is not enough in F1 to win championships. You need consistency. Examples are Montoya, Trulli, Fisichella, Massa, Maldonado, Webber. The verdict is still out on Perez and Hulkenberg.

      4. In 2003, Raikkonen had 13 points finishes out of 16 races. 10 of them podiums. In 2004, he had more than double the points of his veteran teammate, Coulthard. I think it’s fair to say you can spot championship potential from a driver’s first few years in the sport. In my years of watching F1, there’s Villeneuve, Raikkonen, Alonso, Kubica, Vettel, and Hamilton. I didn’t get to see Schumacher or Hakkinen in his early years. Some driver’s show flashes of brilliance, but that really is not enough in F1 to win championships. You need consistency. Examples are Montoya, Trulli, Fisichella, Massa, Maldonado, Webber. The verdict is still out on Perez and Hulkenberg.

    2. There’s no such thing as improvement?

      I guess Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli have always been better drivers than Jenson Button.
      And Nick Heidfeld and Jarno Trulli have always been better drivers than Fernando Alonso.

      1. And Nick Heidfeld and Jarno Trulli have always been better drivers than Fernando Alonso.

        *Tarso Marques
        Nonetheless, you get my point.

  4. Is anyone else wondering what if with Kimi to Williams? I think if he’d been there he could have still won a race this year, I’d like to see how many times he would outqualify Maldonado over a season. I’m 100% sure Kimi would have massively outscored Maldonado and Williams would be much higher in the constructors. I’m also interested in seeing whos quicker over a single lap between Grosjean and Maldonado?

    1. I agree that the Williams car is better than its drivers. The Maldonado win was good, but there’s been more left in that car at other races. A top driver in it would have been wonderful to see. That’s why I wish Lewis had gone there.

    2. Yes Kimi would’ve won anyhow this year! but I think Maldonado would give Kimi a run for his money (in qualy anyway).

    3. the Williams driver’s are poor. i’d say the car surpasses the Mercedes and the Sauber, but have you ever seen Maldonado ever take a corner exceptionally, ever? he misses more than half the apexes and obviously, he crashes way too much. with Alonso he’d finish 4th overall maybe. their updates always work very well, and have plenty of money behind them.

      1. agree. Everyone go on overhype maldonado ‘s qualifying when the car is that fast if not more. He hasn’t had a clean lap while doing his fastest lap, meaning there’re room for more.

        1. Thanks for the replies, looks like most people agree that the Williams is a decent car this year but their drivers are underperforming.

          Either way I want Kimi to be in the best car he can get. He is definitely one of the 4 best drivers on the grid ATM. Potentially the best.

          1. He is indeed a brilliant driver. Its therefore quite surprising that he is rarely mentioned as being a part of the “Tier 1” triumvirate of drivers comprising of Alonso,Hamilton and Vettel

    4. I feel the same way about Sauber.

  5. Regardless of how well Verge/Ricciardo do I guarantee you that Antonio Felix De Costa will be in one of the STR’s by late 2013 as STR continue there tradition of dropping decent drivers for not been the next Vettel.

    And thats the problem with STR, There looking for something that only comes along every so often & thats for someone with the talent of a Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Schumacher, Senna Etc…. Every driver they have had in the STR that has been dropped for not been good enough have been more than good enough to deserve a seat in F1. However because they may not have the Vettel ‘it’ they are dropped not just from F1 but from the whole Red Bull program leaving them with no funding to even stand a shot at landing a ride elsewhere unless there very quickly able to put some funding together.

    Teams in F1 should be doing whats best for them & not whats best for a team higher up the grid.

    1. Sadly an all too accurate summary of the purpose, and the misconception of STR.

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        11th November 2012, 21:36

        Well mark wont be around for ever, eventually at least one non vettel will be promoted but i do agree that it is a pretty poor way of treating people. I mean if button had joined the redbull program he would probably have been dropped to. He’s now speak-of-able in the same breath as hamilton, you never know what someone can do given the right moment in time. Button 1x wdc wcc 1x and only driver to beat hamilton in f1 it might not be a fantastic hit rate but he’s proof you never know.

  6. Isn’t it funny that Karthikeyan is part of that 6 drivers still around that took part of the 2005 United States GP, along with Alonso, Webber, Massa, Button, Raikkonen?

    1. And Schumacher (for now).

      1. Grand Prix winners… plus Karthikeyan.

    2. Eh? Barichello, Monteiro, Albers and Friesacher were the other ones. Only Schumi and Kartikeyan are still on the grid.

      1. He meant drivers who were involved.

  7. Not only took part but also raced in it, of that “exclusive” group only he and Schumacher still race… not for long though.

  8. Reports from Russia – nothing in English, sorry – suggest Vitaly Petrov has agreed in principle to a deal with either Lotus, Williams or Caterham for next season. According to Oksana Kossachenko – his manager – the nature of his current Caterham contract means that nothing can be physically signed until after the Brazilian Grand Prix. Reports from Finland claim Heikki Kovalainen will leave Formula 1 after both Caterham and Force India wanted him to find sponsors.

    1. Kovalainen leaving F1 would be really sad. Not only is he a genuine guy but also a quality driver, if not the best perhaps.

      1. *even if not the best

      2. Might be picked up by McLaren as their test driver (replacing Pedro?)? Just a thought of mine…

    2. Reports from Finland claim Heikki Kovalainen will leave Formula 1 after both Caterham and Force India wanted him to find sponsors.

      So sad to hear that. Although this is only speculation at the moment, I feel disappointed that his driving has not been convincing enough for the teams to consider him without any sponsorship.

      1. Well, Vitaly Petrov is proving to be a much more even match for him than Jarno Trulli was, both in qualifying and in the races.

    3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      11th November 2012, 4:01

      If there’s one thing i hate, absolutely hate about Formula 1, is the money side of things. The fact that a great driver in Kovalainen could lose his spot just because he might not bring enough endorsements to the team.
      It’s absolutely egregious that bringing more money is more important to a team than talent. I get the reasoning behind it, but it’s just wrong.

      If Heikki loses his seat in Formula 1, just because the teams want more money, then Formula 1 will be losing a great driver.

      1. @tophercheese21 define great driver.

        He had his chance at McLaren on merit alone, after all he had done with just one season at Renault. He lost it right there, unable to match Hamilton at all. 2009 was a nightmare for both of them, but at least Hamilton got a couple of good results before winning at Hungary. Kova not even that.

        He missed his chance. It’s hard to make up for the time lost. I can only think of Fisichella or Heidfeld that returned to the sucessful teams after spending a season or two racing for past-edge Jordan.

        As @prisoner-monkeys says, he had a hard time with Vitaly this year. It’s sad, yeah, I like the guy and he had potential, but well… that’s the way it goes.

        1. I agree – is Kovalainene really a great driver?

          He upstaged Giancarlo Fisichella, but the was ill-equipped to deal with their sudden downturn in form, and I always got the feeling that Flavio Briatore was trying to make the best of a bad situation with Kovalainene when he lost Fernando Alonso to McLaren. When Kovalainen replaced Alonso, he couldn’t hold a candle to Lewis Hamilton, and only really lucked into victory in Hungary. Like Renault before them, I got the sense that McLaren were picking the best of a bad bunch, given Alonso’s late departure from the team.

          When he joined The Team Formerly Known As Lotus in 2010, he was alongside the ageing Jarno Trulli – who probably should have retired at the end of 2009 – and was always expected to be the better driver whilst Trulli developed the car, but even then, Trulli hit back in 2011. Now he’s beating Vitaly Petrov, but only because he scored a 13th place before Petrov did. Of the fifteen races they have both finished, Petrov has finished ahead of Kovalainen in eight of them, even when Kovalainen out-qualifies him and gets a better strategy to work with.

          I get the sense that most of Kovalainen’s reputation is derived from his personality and work ethic, rather than his actual speed. He’s a nice guy … he’s just not very fast.

          1. Kova gets his reputation being a Finn as well. Mika and Kimi before him achieved a lot in Formula One.

            I got a feeling that Perez is in a similar position to Kova here. Two seasons of upstaging Kobayashi and quickly inserted into the Macca seat due to the departure of the star, Lewis now, Alonso back then.
            I hope Perez doesn’t end up like Kova though.

          2. so if you say this about HK, what do you make of glock who seems happy to poodle about at the back and at times gets out performed by rookie team mates….yet still gets signed year after year?

      2. @tophercheese21 It’s not a case of wanting the money, but needing it. Marussia are the ones who are ending his career if you think about it enough.

        1. @andrewtanner – Indeed, it’s the teams like Caterham who need the money. I wouldn’t want to see him disappear from the grid, but he might have been driving for a better team (i.e. one not needing money) had he done better at Mclaren, as @fer-no65 said.

      3. slowest finn in f1 in a decade.

    4. Not surprising. Heikki was much better than Trulli. But, Petrov matched him on plenty of occasions though. Between choosing 2 drivers of roughly equal quality, you will always go for the one with more money. Pretty simple realy.

    5. Reports from Finland claim Heikki Kovalainen will leave Formula 1 after both Caterham and Force India wanted him to find sponsors.

      I don’t really get drivers that don’t want to find any sponsorship money. Yes, it’s nice to receive the acknowledgement that you are that good that teams will hire you without backing, but other hand, many teams are struggling to survive, so why wouldn’t drivers help in bringing backing to a team?

      @prisoner-monkeys, I think Heikki got his reputation doing for two seasons what is doing now: on occasion mixing it with the midfield teams in the races. The difference with 2010 and 2011 is that he doesn’t have an under-performing team mate at his side to make him look good.

      1. I don’t really get drivers that don’t want to find any sponsorship money. Yes, it’s nice to receive the acknowledgement that you are that good that teams will hire you without backing, but other hand, many teams are struggling to survive, so why wouldn’t drivers help in bringing backing to a team?

        My understanding – and I have to go off second- and third-hand sources here – is that it’s more a case of Kovalainen being unable to find sponsors, as opposed to Kovalainen being unwilling to find sponsors.

    6. @prisoner-monkeys

      Reports from Finland

      Turun Sanomat or somewhere else?

      1. @prisoner-monkeys Can we have links to these sources because I don’t want to believe it and after a few google searches I couldn’t find anything and at present don’t believe it and won’t until I have evidence to.

        1. @formula-1

          Can we have links to these sources because I don’t want to believe it

          So, whatever sources I might have are considered questionable simply because you don’t want to believe it?

          Sorry, but I find that to be a little insulting.

      2. Turun Sanomat or somewhere else?

        MTV3. Petrov stories were run by Sportbox.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys I’m not trying to be insulting I don’t wont to believe it as Kovalainen is my favourite driver and I don’t want to see him out of the sport because of sponsorship, I would have read your sources to have a piece of mind and I would have only not wanted to believe it because I don’t want to see a good driver leave the sport, and @prisoner-monkeys you have been the one in the past who has told me to provide sources in situations like this, but I think you have misunderstood what I wrote.

    7. @prisoner-monkeys
      Do you have a link for that piece of news? As far as I know, MTV3 reports that Force India has informed Kovalainen that they won’t be hiring him. Nothing certain about Caterham yet. Apparently Kovalainen has speculated that Caterham might have two pay drivers next season after losing 10th place to Marussia, but nothing has been said for sure.

  9. Yes JEV, there’s a lot you can improve on. I look forward to it.

  10. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    11th November 2012, 3:50

    I wonder if he still thinks that he could do a better job in the Rebull than Mark.

  11. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
    11th November 2012, 4:04

    If it’s one thing Vergne has to improve, it’s his qualifying. So far this season, he’s been outqualified by Ricciardo 14 – 4, and has been eliminated in Q1 for 8 times this season. If he can buck up, extract some one-lap pace, and start races from more favourable grid places, I can see him attaining better results.

    1. @bobthevulcan, I think the current qualifying score is actually 15-3 in Ricciardo’s favour. I assume you are relying on Keith’s 2012 form guide, which credits JEV with an extra qualy win (although the graph correctly shows only three times that JEV was quicker). As far as I can tell, JEV has qualified ahead of his teammate only at the Spanish, Hungarian and Belgian GPs.

      1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
        11th November 2012, 5:05

        Ah, thanks for the correction. Still, it reinforces my point that Vergne needs to step up his qualifying game.

  12. Don’t get too comfortable JEV, based on the team’s modus operandi to date I’m still tipping STR to drop one of you or Ricciardo by the middle of next season. If you’ve got more speed in you you’d better bring it to the table asap otherwise you (or Ricciardo) will be on the Red Bull Young Driver Programme scrap heap along with Tonio Liuzzi, Scott Speed, Christian Klien, Sebastian Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari.

    1. just adding –

      If you’ve got more speed in you you’d better bring it to the table asap otherwise you (and/or Ricciardo) …

    2. @geemac – Ricciardo’s been okay I think, Vergne has disappointed me though. I’m guessing Red Bull are looking for the next Sebastian Vettel, and I don’t think this pairing is going to give them that. Felix Da Costa is looking extremely promising though, I’m expecting him to drive a Red Bull at some point in his career (and possibly quite soon).

      I’ll give Ricciardo another year to impress, as he clearly has speed (qualifying at Bahrain showed this). I’ve already lost faith in Vergne though: the only thing he has consistently done this season is joined the exclusive Q1 drop-out club.

  13. happy birthday to @catalina, to @dimitris-1395 and to @Brendan.

    The nice video of the Ferrari is a good starter to the day!

  14. Something wrong there. My birthday is 11/9 not 11/11… :)

    1. @dimitris-1395 Odd – somehow your name’s ended up on the list twice. Will fix it.

  15. Another one from from di Resta. This year he has been on top of the leaderboard when it comes to criticising team strategy

    1. He makes a perfectly reasonable point – look at the data, there was no reason to pit on the first safety car, it was a mistake.

    1. So yet another demanding corner made slightly soft by tarmac run-off? Gravel traps should be made mandatory, and I don’t really care if there is a risk in using them. The only place that tarmac run-off may be suitable is in heavy braking zones after long straights.

  16. Daniel has done really well since the mid season break and is starting to perform beyond the capability of the car in my view. JEV can be quick in race trim but needs more consistency.

    1. Also the car is poor so no wonder they can’t find the next vettel

      1. That’s nonsense, and no excuse for not standing out. Vettel stood out compared to the car he was driving. Alonso in 2001 stood out compared to the car he was driving.

        Alguersuario, Buemi, and potentially Ricciardo and Vergne haven’t stood out compared to the car they are driving, and that’s why they aren’t widely considered the next anything.

        1. Vettel was in a Newey designed Toro Rosso that was at times quicker than the senior Red Bull car. Apples and oranges.

          1. @tdog – It isn’t apples and oranges. Vettel outperformed his car (which was still only 6th fastest), the other STR drivers did not.

          2. If I recall Vettel made his debut at USGP in 2007 in a BMW, and scored points. He was the youngest driver ever to do so, I would say “Stand Out Achieved” with that act. BTW, Newey didnt touch the BMW care so Newey magic argument is moot.

            So, when JEV, or HK, or VP, or any of the others do something like that, then they can be called stand-out. Just to level set, keeping up the Status Quo, or besting your teammate makes one adequete, not remarkable.

  17. Michael Brown (@)
    13th November 2012, 0:52

    That “Not so fan-tastic” article is a really depressing read. I’m going to my first F1 Grand Prix in Montreal next year, but the ticket prices have been getting higher and the attendance has been getting lower. Like Turkey had an attendance of 20,000 for its last 3 years on the calendar. And Bernie and his daughters – as well as many others – spend the money on themselves.

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