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Vergne announces Toro Rosso departure (again)

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.

Ricciardo of course went on to out-perform Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull, with three Grand Prix victories in 2014, it points to just how good could Vergne be in a competitive car?

Strangely it had looked likely that Ricciardo's form might just save his former team-mate.

Not that Vettel would admit to that being the reason behind his imminent switch to Ferrari, but his somewhat unexpected departure from the Red Bull family opened up a seat.

Daniil Kvyat was picked to make the step up from Toro Rosso to Red Bull to replace Vettel, which opened up another slot at Toro Rosso.

Could Vergne's seat have become available to him once again?

Well, in short the answer was yes. But he's been overlooked once more.

Despite getting support from within the team to get an unexpected reprieve. It looks likely that one of Formula Renault 3.5 champion Carlos Sainz Jr, Pierre Gasly and GP3 champion Alex Lynn will get the Toro Rosso drive for next season.

“Despite a good season & 22 pts, I'll not drive anymore for Toro Rosso in 2015. Thanks for those years. Let's go for another big challenge.” Vergne posted on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.

Options for Vergne in 2015 appear limited.

During the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Sky Sports reported that he could be inline to join Williams to become their third driver for next season, however this rumour has been dismissed by Williams.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 27 2014

Time: 12:00PM


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