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Toro Rosso driver Jean-Éric Vergne was left in high spirits after scoring his maiden Formula 1 points in Malaysia on Sunday, crossing the line in eighth place after starting from eighteenth on the grid. The Frenchman climbed up the order early on thanks to some skillful driving on the intermediate tyre, before cementing a strong points finish.
"To go from eighteenth on the grid to eighth and in the points at the end is great," he said. "I stayed out for a long time on the intermediates after the start and then the red flag came along to help me so I was able to switch to extreme wets on the grid.
"If I had to resume behind the Safety Car on the intermediates it would have been very hard to stay on track! As soon as the track was dry enough I came in again for intermediates but I lost a bit of time before I made the switch to slicks.
"After that I was catching di Resta, but with the backmarkers in between us I could not get close enough, so I just managed the situation, concentrating on bringing the car home."
Vergne is expecting further 'step by step' improvements as the season goes on, and has been left impressed by the performance of Toro Rosso's contender so far.
"I am happy to settle for this eighth place and I plan to keep improving step by step," he added. "After these two opening races, the overall performance has been quite good and I feel we can make progress in China starting from this good base line."
Scuderia Toro Rosso
|4.||M. Webber||Red Bull||+17.688|
|7.||P. di Resta||Force India||+44.412|
|8.||J. Vergne||Toro Rosso||+46.985|
|9.||N. Hulkenberg||Force India||+47.892|
|Scuderia Toro Rosso|
|15 May||Tost: Drivers need to perform exceptionally|
|12 May||Points-scoring Ricciardo left wanting more|
|14 Apr||'I didn't know Webber was there' – Vergne|
|14 Apr||Ricciardo: everything clicked into place|
|2012 Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix|
|11 Apr '12||Renault diagnoses Maldonado’s engine failure|
|2 Apr '12||Horner defends Vettel’s Malaysia remarks|
|29 Mar '12||Petrov blames Vettel for Karthikeyan incident|
|28 Mar '12||Webber ripped radio connection out of helmet|
|1 May||Marko 'not worried' about 2014 line-up|
|15 Apr||Video: Webber, Vergne collide in China|
|14 Apr||Webber handed three-place grid penalty|
|1 Apr||Vergne: China should give clearer picture|
|21 May||Whitmarsh: Lowe release the right thing to do|
|21 May||Video: Mégane Red Bull RB8 limited edition|
|21 May||Kristensen gets steward role in Monte-Carlo|
|21 May||Book F1 tickets and join the action live!|
|More Jean-Eric Vergne photos|