Vergne satisfied with maiden F1 season
4 December 2012 – Jean-Éric Vergne says his maiden Fomula 1 campaign can be classed as a 'successful' one, with the Toro Rosso driver pleased at how he adapted to the sport over the course of the year. Having secured four eighth place finishes in 2012, the Frenchman outscored team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who had greater F1 experience.
One of Vergne's aforementioned top ten finishes came at the season finale in Brazil, where the 22-year-old rose through the field from 17th on the grid to take the chequered flag just behind seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.
"It was nice to sign off the season with another four points," Vergne reflected. "I wasn’t too excited about the result immediately after the race, as you always want more and I do think seventh was possible, but with a bit of time to reflect on the result, it was nice for both me and the team to finish the last race in the points. It feels like positive way to end 2012.
"I had four eighth places and scored 16 points. For my first year in F1, and given that we didn’t have the best car in the world, I don’t feel too bad about that record. For sure, it could have been better and I certainly expect better of myself next year, but all in all I’d mark it down as a successful first season."
Vergne has marked the 2012 season as a massive learning experience, one that he hopes to benefit from when he enters a second term with Toro Rosso next year.
"Ultimately, I think this year was all about learning and the points are not the most significant thing," he added. "The important thing for me is that I think I have learned a hell of a lot about Formula 1 this year. All I want over the winter now is to put all I’ve learned together and arrive back next year with, hopefully, a better car, more experience, more skill and hopefully I’ll have an even better experience next year."
Vergne finished 17th in the championship standings this year, ten points ahead of team-mate Ricciardo who had contested half a season for HRT in 2011.