Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Shanghai, 2012

Vergne denies Toro Rosso seat is audition for Red Bull

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Shanghai, 2012In the round-up: Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne says he is not in a “fight” with team mate Daniel Ricciardo for a Red Bull seat in 2013.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Jean-Eric Vergne Q&A: I?m no rookie (F1)

“Some people will tell you that we are in a fight for the Red Bull cockpit, but I don?t see that right now. I am racing for Toro Rosso and I want to help make the car a points contender.”

Boullier says Grosjean can be champion

“More than the podium finish, what was impressive is the fact that he finished so close to Kimi [Raikkonen] and just ten seconds behind Sebastian Vettel.”

Lotus E20: Overview and Development (ScarbsF1)

“Unlike its rivals there isn?t a stand-out feature or innovation that?s obvious on the E20. Development from the Renault R31 with its ill fated front exit exhausts (FEE) has been iterative and logical.”

Nestle man lined up for F1 chair (Reuters Africa)

“Peter Brabeck, the chairman of Swiss food group Nestle, has been lined up to chair Formula One motor racing should it go ahead with a planned flotation in Singapore, a source close to the matter said.”

Bahrain Special: How Regime Supporters Became The “Silent Majority” for 3 Foreign Journalists (Enduring America)

“Results have been mixed, despite the spending of millions of dollars on public-relations firms and in-house publications, especially amid the recent controversy over the Bahrain Grand Prix. Today, however, we tell a story of success for the regime and its supporters:”

A final note on Bahrain (Joe Saward)

“I hear that there are attempts going on to discredit the story I have written about Bahrain and the people with whom I spoke.”

Bahrain: Vettel the only winner (GrandPrix)

“Official promotional slogans proclaiming ‘UniF1ed – One Nation in Celebration’ were in wide circulation. Aside for the blatant use of the treasured ‘F1’ symbol, this undisputed claim made Ecclestone’s tired assertion that sport and politics don’t mix appear as inappropriate as a Grand Prix in this troubled country.”

The Italian Dilemma (Will Buxton)

“It?s an all too familiar story. Talented Italian lacks budget and doesn?t get the chances he deserves. But why does it always seemingly affect Italians over any other nationality?” Read my comment on this article here.

House of Comments Hansard debate 24th April 2012 (Parliament)

“I understand that the owners of Lotus F1, which by the way came second and third in the recent Bahrain Grand Prix, have expressed an interest and said that they would see no reason to move any of the business away from the UK.”

Formula One Betting: All’s fair in love and tyres! (Unibet)

My new article for Unibet.

Comment of the day

Hays33d on attitudes towards safety improvements in F1:

I?m always surprised by the closed mindedness and resistance when it comes to safety innovations, or at the very least, the exploration of them.

Yes, it has been a long time since an F1 driver was killed, but in other open wheeled classes, like with Surtees, it still happens. Remember when Senna and Ratzenberger were killed the general feeling was that F1 had advanced so far that it was unlikely to see a death again. People got complacent.

Let?s look at this from another perspective. What current safety regulation do you believe makes F1 today worse off? I can?t think of one and I guarantee you that when many of the new regulations were suggested someone said, “You can?t make racing 100% safe. What are they doing to our wonderful sport? What are they trying to accomplish? This will be tragic for the sport!”

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to MarkD!

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

Jean-Pierre Beltoise turns 75 today. The French driver scored his only world championship race win in the soaking wet 1972 Monaco Grand Prix, driving for BRM.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

48 comments on “Vergne denies Toro Rosso seat is audition for Red Bull”

  1. Three words, admittedly cynical in nature: Yes it is.

    1. Alex (@smallvizier)
      26th April 2012, 7:42

      His quote was taken a little out of context. He was asked whether he thought he was faster than Ricciardo. He replied that it wasn’t about being faster than his team-mate: his job was to score lots of points for his team.

      “I have no interest finishing in P15 ahead of him. I’d rather finish in P4 behind him if that meant I had a quicker car. Did I just say finish behind him? No, I don’t think that I would like this! (laughs) Only the part about fighting at the front is true. Forget about the rest…”

      I think he’s dead right. Even if he demolished Ricciardo, that wouldn’t guarantee him a long-term seat, or a place at Red Bull. What he needs to do is get on the podium.

      Last year, Buemi and Alguersuari thought they were in a straight fight for the Red Bull seat. It turned out they were wrong. Vergne seems to have a much more realistic view of what he has to achieve.

  2. I’am sorry Jean Eric but that’s exactly what it is. Why do you think yourself and Ricciardo replaced Buemi and Jamie?.

    The answer is simple because Adrian Newey did not want either of those two drivers in the Red Bull team in future so now it’s between you and Ricciardo. Adrian Newey has far more power and pull at Red Bull than Helmut Marko or Franz Tost.

    1. de le roseR
      26th April 2012, 0:56

      Really?! Why would Newey be so opposed to Buemi or Algersuari?

    2. “Kimi…….Romain is CHEAPER than you, can you confirm you understand this message”

      1. sorry was not meant for this conversation, should stand alone.

        1. I have trouble with that too sometimes.
          Sometimes i might be replying to a comment on the very bottom and it makes my reply a standalone comment or vice versa.

          1. It can happen when you write a comment, and then decide to reply to someone else instead. My advice, refresh the page before/after writing a comment.

    3. It’s not between Vergne and Ricciardo either. They could well drop both of them off the team, like they did with Buemi and Alguersuari, if neither really doesn’t beat the other clearly.

    4. I think Vergne might be hesitant to call it an audition, because audition implies that one of the two Toro Rosso driver will replace Webber. There’s a distinct possibility that neither will be promoted; based on their results so far, I wouldn’t be giving either of them a seat with Red Bull next year.

      1. Neither would I, and these things can get decided pretty early in the year. I suspect Webber will carry on (unless he has 15 more weekends like Bahrain, beaten by Vettel). Raikkonen was linked with Red Bull before (mostly because he used to have “Red Bull” on the side of his rally car), but what if he became available – or Lewis Hamilton?

      2. Agree with PM. Who knows if Webber will beat the finger boy this year. So who are they going to be replaced? Helmut Marko?

      3. Well that’s OK, that’s not your decision. Would you give Webber a RB seat though ?

        1. Can’t let this one pass, RBR’s #2 driver is only 1point behind the leading challengers #1 driver ( or possibly several points ahead, depending on whether you see LH or JB as #1) what more could you ask for from a #2 driver, solid points even when your #1 driver can’t make the car competetive is exactly what a #2 should do.

        2. @nickfrog – I can’t say one way or the other. We’re only four races into the season; that’s just 20% of the year.

          My point is not a case of whether or not Webber is retained in 2013, but that because he can be retained – at the team’s discretion – Vergne is not “auditioning” for his seat. An audition implies a certain vacancy, but there is no guarantee that Webber’s seat will be available next year.

    5. How on Earth did you come to that conclusion?

  3. i dont like the concept of torro rosso in terms of on track action. Red Bull clearly have a four car team. when was you last time you saw a torro rosso defend or overtake a red bull on track in the last 2 years or so? red Bull basically know they’ll be fine when lapping a torro rosso.
    and i doubt it’s necessarily team orders, rather it’s the mindset of the torro rosso drivers. ie. they’ll be easy on the red bull cars instinctivley in order to please Helmut Marko etc.
    look at the telling off Alguesuari recieved last year for blocking Vettel in Korea (during practice!)
    I don’t like it.

    1. Rubbish. When was the last time any Toro Rosso actually competed with any Red Bull for position? And defending against being lapped just so happens to be against the rules.

      1. not defending. I didn’t mean defending when being lapped, I just mean some cars make it a whole lot easier for you to get past when being lapped. the Torro rosso-red bull situation is just like that.
        for you first point: yes, sometimes they have been in competitive positions due to overlapping pit strategies etc. they hold no resistance but say if Rosberg comes up, they’ll defend their position harder.

        and doesn’t anyone else think Algesurari’s telling off by helmut marko last year was a bit controversial? on the track they should be 2 separate teams.

        1. Agree with Sato!

    2. Algersuari held up Webber at Yas Marina in 2010. Costing him getting by Alonso.

      1. Marko doesn’t care about Webber.

        1. correct! lol

        2. @julian Given that Webber never was part of their young driver program, why would he?

          I’m sure the two get along just fine personally but professionally, they really have little to do with each other.

      2. No, he simply didn’t have the pace to get by Alonso that day, despite driving the race winning car.

        1. On equal footing he didn’t. But Webber on fresh primes was faster than Alonso on worn options. The lap he got by Alguersuari (I think it happened in the middle of the first straight) he set a purple second and 3rd sector to set a purple lap.

    3. Why all the Toro Ross haters? At a time when F1 can’t fill all 26 available grid spots, Red Bull fund a competitive mid-tier team in addition to RBR, and use the junior team to develop talented young drivers. Would people really prefer they didn’t exist, and their spot (at best) filled by a team like HRT, no doubt piloted by talent-challenged GP2 plodders?

    4. on a related topic whats the deal with Ferrari supplying their engines to STR which is owned by direct rival RBR? ive often thought how such an awkward arangement exists…does anyone know what spec Ferrari customer engine is? last years or sthing?

      1. I think it is the same kind of agreement Mercedes has with McLaren/Force India and Renault (now Lotus) had with Red Bull. It is funny to think that these teams have/had better cars than the teams that actually build the engines (Even Sauber and TR have now better cars than Ferrari).

  4. I wish JEV was right, and that was the case. I would love Toro Rosso to continue to improve and one day actually challenge for podiums, but Red Bull would never allow it. They would sell the team before wanting that to happpen.
    Would be nice to see an exciting young team like Toro Rosso stick with two young fast drivers, and watch them grow as a team over the years to eventually challenge for the WDC……ok, I will just snap out of that daydream now lol.

    1. You mean they would sell the team called Torro Rosso so it could beat them named something else like “Monster” or ” Gatoraid”

  5. Oh dear, Joe. I’ve never liked the way he lays into people that disagree with him (visitors to his own site, I might add), and it looks like he’s resorting to having a whinge about journalists that disagree with him now. Never had much of a problem with him up until last weekend, but he’s shown his true colours and I know which blog I won’t be visiting in the future. That is, of course, unless he writes something unintentionally yet undeniably hilarious.

  6. The piece on Saward, Tremayne & Spurgeon is brilliant, a great example of investigative journalism. Saward’s response is rather weak and unconvincing. It’s strange to see so many government-supporting Bahrainis suddenly comment on his blog, while you rarely see ones on F1F, an even more popular F1 website. Anyway, it’s never a good idea to use anonymous web comments as a proof that you’re right.

    I personally believe neither in those, who claim that all Bahraini protesters are peaceful citizens who fight solely for more freedom and democracy in their country, nor in those who praise the country’s government and depict the opposition as a bunch of hooligans. I believe that the journalists, who have been reporting on Bahraini government’s crimes against their people, have often tended to simplify things and looked for loud headlines instead of trying to get a deeper understanding of the situation. At the same time it’s clear that Bahrain is a cruel dictatorship and that the country and its society are facing serious problems. The fact that the majority isn’t on the streets protesting against the Crown Prince, doesn’t mean that the majority support him and is satisfied with how their country is ruled.

    It’s sad to see F1 journalists become marionettes in hands of cynical politicians, which is why I fully understand those journalists who decided to report on racing only.

    1. Well, it looks pretty bad for Saward, Tremayne and Spurgeon. It’s almost as if their articles were written along very specific guidelines, using the same precise talking points. Of course it’s just a speculation on my part, but their pieces read pretty much like sponsored articles.

      1. I like potatoes
        26th April 2012, 10:40

        It’s why the Grand Prix should never have happened. Sports reporters playing at being Foreign Affairs correspondents. Be it the likes of Eason or Parkes who went to the villages, or Saward and Tremayne who spoke to those in Manama, nobody got the full picture, nobody got an unblemished view. How could they in the space of a week? They should never have even been put in that position. Would you expect Richard Galpin on the BBC to have half a clue about F1 race strategies? No. So why should F1 journalists be expected to grasp complex foreign affairs topics. And now you’ve got Eason pulling Saward apart and vice versa, all over who did the better, more representative job of reporting a political situation. It is insanity. The sport and its reporters should never have been placed in that position.

        1. I think it depends on the professionalism of the journalist, too. For instance, James Allen managed to find a balanced approach. He didn’t avoid off-the-track issues but also didn’t imagine he was an expert in Middle East politics.

        2. I think it’s secondary to other, more important reasons why the GP should not have happened, but other than that — yes, well said, person who likes potatoes.

    2. bernieslovechild
      28th April 2012, 9:00

      Joe is feeling i little sensitive about all this (Twitter #coffeeshopjoe)

      Joe wrote this yesterday

      Joe suggests by inference Montreal may be called off due to student protesters (not that it has any likelehood of happening) as many commentators on his blog see as a sick joke.

      One response suggested if he was worried about the Canadian violence he should report the event from Starbucks 5th Ave N.Y. whilst sipping a chai latte

      Still like my old daddy says, “no publicity is bad publicity”

      #coffeeshopjoe getting some stick.

      1. Joe really does get some stick. This is my fav….

        Personally I shall go and sit down in Starbucks with three middle class Canadians to discuss their love of maple syrup and the ruling elite and how these bloody students are always starting trouble against those poor policemen and their riot shields.

        I understand Montreal will go ahead under the banner of VilliF1ed…

        One nation under Bacon and all that…

        on April 27, 2012 at 13:44 | Reply Joe Saward
        What a very silly post. Besides any decent Canadian would go to Tim Horton’s

        1. My daddy would be “MortiF1ed”

  7. Either Vergne has lost the plot, or he doesn’t get it, or it’s press-speak. The whole point of Toro Rosso was always the final stepping stone pre-RBR… It’s literally a feeder team for RBR IMO.

    1. Alex (@smallvizier)
      26th April 2012, 7:56

      None of the above. Vergne’s point was that beating his team-mate wasn’t good enough: if they’re both slow, they’ll both be binned, whoever’s in front in the championship.

      He’s right, too. If Vergne and Ricciardo aren’t in the mix with Lotus and Mercedes by the end of next year, then neither of them is likely to end up in Red Bull… they’ll make a move for someone else.

      “I am racing for Toro Rosso and I want to help make the car a points contender. I have no interest finishing in P15 ahead of him.”

      1. Indeed. Remember Alguersuari last year? He was constantly beating Buemi ,the more experienced one, near the end of the season. He would generally drive around the tail end of the points. Everyone praised him, and many expected him to be promoted to Red Bull in 2013. Instead, both he and his teammate were fired, simple as that. Red Bull aren’t interested in who beats who at the end of the season. They want to see who’s talented/fast enough to challenge quicker cars ahead of him.

        1. Indeed. Remember Alguersuari last year? He was constantly beating Buemi ,the more experienced one, near the end of the season

          All I remember is Alguesuari beating Buemi because at the end of the season because of his Buemi’s rotten luck.

          1. I must have changed my mind 10 times while writing that sentence. Absolutely disgusting…

  8. From the linked Hansard transcript:

    That is of particular concern because, as has been reported in the newspapers, the CEO of Group Lotus, Dany Bahar, has a financial incentive in his contract to sell the company, and because Group Lotus no longer owns the right to use the name “Lotus” on cars sold in China. That right is now owned by a small Taiwanese company, which licenses it to China Youngman, a potential buyer of Group Lotus that is already importing Lotus cars into China. That is an odd thing for any car company to do, particularly one whose brand and the heritage are so important

    And just when you thought all of Lotus’ shoddy shenanigans when it came to intellectual property (both in Chapman’s times and the recent Lotus Racing/Team Lotus/Caterham/Lotus F1 saga) — has come to light, now this. Lotus develops great technologies (esp. cars) but business-wise — I hope Lotus F1 manages to take them over and then replace the entire top management, starting with Dany Bahar.

  9. Should be ‘House of Commons’ not ‘House of Comments’

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