Birthplace: Pontoise, France
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Jean-Eric Vergne followed the path of his predecessors on the Red Bull Driver Development programme. After winning the British F3 championship in 2010 he progressed to Formula Renault 3.5, which he spent in a year-long battle for the title with Carlin team mate Robert Wickens.
Vergne tended to qualify behind his team mate but they were much more closely matched in the races, taking five wins apiece. Vergne came off the back of a strong weekend on home ground at Paul Ricard poised to snatch the championship in Barcelona.
But Wickens won the first of the two races and when the pair retired in separate incidents in the second race it confirmed Wickens as the champion, nine points ahead of Vergne.
Vergne’s Red Bull connection had already secured him a run in the world championship-winning RB7 in the Abu Dhabi young drivers’ test, and he went quickest on all three days. He also drove for Toro Rosso in practice sessions towards the end of the year.
Vergne’s predecessors Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari were dropped from Toro Rosso at the end of the year to make way for him and fellow development driver Daniel Ricciardo.
Vergne out-scored his slightly more experienced team mate in 2012, thanks in part to a bold drive in Malaysia where he remained on intermediate tyres on an increasingly sodden track until the safety car came out.
His eventual reward was eighth place, a position he repeated three further times during the season. However qualifying remained a persistent weakness relative to his team mate and in Valencia he was severely punished after causing an unnecessary collision with Heikki Kovalainen.
Vergne continued to trail Ricciardo in 2013 but gave the team their best result of the year – and his best to date – with sixth place in Canada. However it was team mate Daniel Ricciardo who was called up to replace Mark Webber at Red Bull.
Vergne will remain at Toro Rosso in 2014.
Jean-Eric Vergne 2014 helmets
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Jean-Eric Vergne latest articles
- Toro Rosso have “major problems” – Vergne
- Toro Rosso fall well short of sixth place target
- Gutierrez contact penalty drops Vergne to 16th
- No penalty for Alonso over Vergne incident
- Stuck brakes caused Vergne’s qualifying fire
- Who’s winning the battle of the team mates halfway through 2013?
- Webber handed grid penalty for Vergne collision
- Vergne keeps point but team fined for ‘unsafe release’
- “One-lap tyres” appeal to Vergne
- Ten-place grid penalty for Schumacher at Suzuka
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