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Vergne gets backing from within Toro Rosso

In August, when it was announced that then 16-year-old Max Verstappen was to join Toro Rosso it was at the expense of Jean-Eric Vergne.

Verstappen will become the youngest Formula One driver in history aged just 17 years and five months, when the season is likely to begin in Australia.

Former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari is currently the youngest driver to have started a Formula One Grand Prix aged 19 years and 125 days when he started in Hungary in 2009.

At 24-years-old Vergne joked that he was too old for Toro Rosso, but the disappointment of being dumped had to be hard on him.

A little over a year ago he was still in contention for a drive with Red Bull Racing following the retirement of Mark Webber.

During the 2013 Formula One World Championship Vergne had a bright start to the season, scoring points in Malaysia, Monaco and Canada, scoring 13 points from the opening 7 races.

A lot of people had assumed that it would be Vergne to get the nod ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and when the announcement was made that Red Bull had opted for Ricciardo over Vergne many in the paddock were shocked.

Vergne failed to score a single point for the rest of the season.

With Ricciardo now out-performing Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull, with three Grand Prix victories this season, it points to just how good could Vergne be in a competitive car?

Strangely, Ricciardo's form might have saved his former team-mate.

Not that Vettel would admit to that being the reason behind his imminent switch to Ferrari.

But with Daniil Kvyat making the step up from Toro Rosso to Red Bull to replace Vettel, Vergne's seat could have become available to him once again.

In fact he appears to be getting support from within the team to get an unexpected reprieve.

“The situation is still open, I think the drivers that are shortlisted for Toro Rosso are: Jean-Eric [Vergne], Carlos Sainz, Pierre Gasly and Alex Lynn. All four are Red Bull drivers and it will definitely be a Red Bull driver.

“I am still convinced that Jean-Eric can do a very good job in Formula One if he gets a competitive car. He has shown this a couple of times and I personally would like to continue with him - but we have to wait to see what Red Bull decides.”
Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost told Sky Sports.

Whilst Verstappen has also declared his support for Vergne telling formula1.com: 'It is important to keep Jean-Eric, I think it will be a big help, He has experience with the tyres already so he can help me a lot with that. But I think also in general for the team it is a big help.”

'For sure times will be closer [between two rookie drivers] - if you have an experienced driver maybe the times will sometimes be bigger, but you can learn from that, Where I'm at with the tyres, if you have someone like Jean-Eric for sure they will help - not only for one race but I think the whole season. I think it is a win-win situation for me and the team.'








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 4 2014

Time: 1:00PM

 

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