Exclusive interview with Jean-Éric Vergne

Exclusive interview with Jean-Éric Vergne

2 August 2014 – The summer break allegedly sees Formula 1 drivers take a step back from the world of racing. But earlier this week, a Red Bull and the streets of Assen were waiting for Toro Rosso's Jean-Éric Vergne. GPUpdate.net sat down with the Frenchman to discuss his season so far and look towards the future.

How do you rate the first half of season?

I have had a good first half of the season. There were some positives and some negatives. The negative is that we had too many retirements. The positive is that every time I had a retirement I was always in the position to score points. So that is a good thing, you know. I think we could have scored a lot more points, but we still have the second half of the season to get all those points. So I'm quite confident, also that the team can give me a more reliable car and that it can even go quicker.

What do you view as your highlight so far?
I think the last race in Budapest was very good. I really enjoyed running in the front with those other guys. That was a nice feeling and it makes me want to have more of those moments in the second part of the season.

Toro Rosso seems to be a bit closer to Red Bull this year. How does that feel?
It [the gap] is still quite big. They have a really good car and what they are doing is really impressive. But we are not too far behind. We are getting there. We need a bit more performance to say that we are on a similar level.

You've got a new team-mate in Daniil Kvyat. How is life alongside him?
It's OK. Nothing special. He's a quick driver and he has been doing good so far. So that's good for the team.

What's your main goal for the remainder of the season?
To keep pushing like we're doing and to continue in that same way and to score as many points as possible.

Looking to the future, there have been discussions about a return of the French Grand Prix. What is your view on the situation? Do you think it is realistic?

I would love for that to happen. It would be a great thing. There are three French drivers in Formula 1 so that would be beautiful. France has a great pedigree in motorsports. To have Formula 1 coming back, I think everybody would love it.

Is it strange to see France missing, with countries such as Azerbaijan arriving?
No, it's not weird. We know that these countries pay a lot of money to receive Formula 1 and France isn't what it used to be. It isn't as rich as it was before. We have a different politics. I don't really know much about it. All I know is that I hope that France will come back on the Formula 1 calendar.

Would you like the race to be at Magny-Cours or would you prefer a different circuit?
I don't care, I don't care. As long as it's in France, I'm happy!

How do you view the popularity of Formula 1 in France right now?
I think it lost a little bit. But if the French Grand Prix comes back, I think it would grow again. We have three French drivers and an engine manufacturer which won many titles in the last few years, so the potential is there.

There's a lot of talk about making Formula 1 more popular. What do you think needs to be done or are you happy with the sport as it is?
(Long pause) The people who hold the sport have all the cards in their hands and I'm trusting the decisions they make. But I love Formula 1 as it is.

Have you already had time to think about 2015?
Not really, no. I'm really focused on this year. And I believe only the best will happen if I continue to do good.

Perhaps the future could provide a car with a similar livery to the one you drove here in Assen?
It would be a dream to be in a Red Bull car. It would be great to fight for wins and so on. I would love it.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Tuesday 24 October 2017

  2. Stroll left to lament narrow points miss 10:04

    Stroll left to lament narrow points miss

    Williams' Lance Stroll says he was left disappointed after he narrowly missed out on a points finish at the United States Grand…

    F1
  3. Bottas says he's learning from recent setbacks 09:17

    Bottas says he's learning from recent setbacks

    Valtteri Bottas insists that he is still making progress with Mercedes, and regards his recent difficult string of races as an…

    F1
  4. Video: Mercedes' title triumph back at base 05:34

    Video: Mercedes' title triumph back at base

    Mercedes documents the hours building up to and after securing a fourth successive Constructors' title from its factories in…

    F1
  5. Monday 23 October 2017

  6. 19:05

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  7. Opinion: Verstappen's penalty the right call 19:03

    Opinion: Verstappen's penalty the right call

    Max Verstappen's penalty for his bold overtake on Kimi Räikkönen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix was the…

    F1
  8. STR confirms Gasly, Hartley for Mexican GP 17:19

    STR confirms Gasly, Hartley for Mexican GP

    Toro Rosso has confirmed that Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley will race for the team at this weekend's Mexican Grand Prix…

    F1
  9. Wehrlein unimpressed at Magnussen move 16:52

    Wehrlein unimpressed at Magnussen move

    Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein believes it was "quite an effort" for Kevin Magnussen to crash into him on the opening lap of the…

    F1
  10. United States Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 15:32

    United States Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Lewis Hamilton put himself on the brink of a fourth world title, some midfield drivers starred, while a controversial penalty…

    F1
  11. Räikkönen 'surprised' by Verstappen attempt 14:34

    Räikkönen 'surprised' by Verstappen attempt

    Kimi Räikkönen says he was "a bit surprised" by Max Verstappen's last-lap manoeuvre through Turn 17 as the pair battled for…

    F1
  12. Viñales sets sights on Dovizioso in standings 13:42

    Viñales sets sights on Dovizioso in standings

    Yamaha's Maverick Viñales says his target for the remaining two races this season is to overhaul Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso…

    MotoGP
  13. McLaren 'deserved' Austin points - Alonso 12:56

    McLaren 'deserved' Austin points - Alonso

    Fernando Alonso hailed an "amazing performance" from McLaren at the United States Grand Prix and believes the operation deserved…

    F1
  14. Kvyat: US Grand Prix my best race in 2017 11:44

    Kvyat: US Grand Prix my best race in 2017

    Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat described his United States Grand Prix as the "best race of the year" as he marked his return to…

    F1
  15. Video: Haas Hill at the Circuit of the Americas 10:58

    Video: Haas Hill at the Circuit of the Americas

    Join Gene Haas, Guenther Steiner, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen as they visit #HaasHill at the Circuit of the Americas…

    F1
  16. Ocon relieved to overcome pre-race issue 10:22

    Ocon relieved to overcome pre-race issue

    Force India's Esteban Ocon labelled his United States Grand Prix as "very satisfying", and praised his team for overcoming a…

    F1
  17. Sainz Jr. enthused by Renault debut points 09:06

    Sainz Jr. enthused by Renault debut points

    Carlos Sainz Jr. revelled in a "smooth" weekend as he followed up a Q3 spot with points on his Renault debut at the United…

    F1
  18. Wolff: Mercedes to 'keep foot on the gas' 06:32

    Wolff: Mercedes to 'keep foot on the gas'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team will "keep our foot on the gas" after completing "half of the job" by clinching the…

    F1
  19. Video: F1 goes pink for cancer awareness 04:02

    Video: F1 goes pink for cancer awareness

    McLaren highlights how Formula 1 went pink for the United States Grand Prix to raise breast cancer awareness, in conjunction…

    F1
  20. 03:16

    Championship standings after United States

    F1
  21. 01:04

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Sunday in Austin

    F1
  22. Ricciardo braced for Mexico grid demotion 01:02

    Ricciardo braced for Mexico grid demotion

    Daniel Ricciardo says he is braced for a back-of-the-grid start at the upcoming Mexican Grand Prix, following his engine failure…

    F1
  23. Bottas left to lament late-race tyre wear 00:40

    Bottas left to lament late-race tyre wear

    Valtteri Bottas conceded that it was "not possible" for him to execute a one-stop strategy, after the Finn struggled with the…

    F1
  24. Sunday 22 October 2017

  25. Hamilton: Pre-race set-up changes crucial 23:54

    Hamilton: Pre-race set-up changes crucial

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton believes set-up changes before the race were a big factor in securing victory at the United States…

    F1
  26. Vettel admits he lacked Hamilton's pace 23:01

    Vettel admits he lacked Hamilton's pace

    Sebastian Vettel has conceded that Ferrari lacked the pace to fight with Lewis Hamilton at the United States Grand Prix, after…

    F1
  27. 'Idiot steward killed the race' - Verstappen 22:40

    'Idiot steward killed the race' - Verstappen

    Max Verstappen has hit out at "one idiot steward", believing they "killed" the race, following his post-race penalty in Austin…

    F1
  28. Horner slams 'unbelievably harsh' penalty 22:26

    Horner slams 'unbelievably harsh' penalty

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has hit out at United States Grand Prix stewards in the wake of Max Verstappen's…

    F1
  29. Verstappen penalised, Räikkönen third 21:49

    Verstappen penalised, Räikkönen third

    Max Verstappen has been issued with a five-second time penalty after stewards at the United States Grand Prix deemed that he cut…

    F1
  30. 21:45

    In full: United States Grand Prix race results

    F1
  31. Hamilton edges closer to title with victory 21:43

    Hamilton edges closer to title with victory

    Lewis Hamilton won the United States Grand Prix to edge closer to a fourth title, regaining the lead from Sebastian Vettel after…

    F1
  32. 19:20

    Follow the United States Grand Prix live!

    F1
  33. 19:00

    Starting grid for the United States GP

    F1
  34. Vandoorne gets additional 25-place drop 17:29

    Vandoorne gets additional 25-place drop

    Stoffel Vandoorne is set to incur an additional 25-place grid penalty for taking on new power unit components, after Honda…

    F1
  35. Pirelli expects two-stop United States GP 15:32

    Pirelli expects two-stop United States GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli believes a two-stop strategy will "theoretically" be the fastest approach in dry conditions at…

    F1
  36. Hartley confident over long-run potential 14:42

    Hartley confident over long-run potential

    Brendon Hartley says he is confident over his long-run performance as he prepares to make his Formula 1 debut at the United…

    F1
  37. Van der Mark gets Sepang Tech 3 call-up 14:12

    Van der Mark gets Sepang Tech 3 call-up

    World Superbike rider Michael van der Mark has been drafted in by Tech 3 for his MotoGP debut at next weekend's Malaysian Grand…

    MotoGP
  38. Alonso: First lap crucial in points push 13:14

    Alonso: First lap crucial in points push

    Fernando Alonso is wary that McLaren could be "exposed" on the opening lap of the United States Grand Prix due to its speed…

    F1
  39. Dovizioso left to lament 'big disappointment' 12:29

    Dovizioso left to lament 'big disappointment'

    Andrea Dovizioso described his Australian Grand Prix as a "big disappointment" as he lost substantial ground in the title race…

    MotoGP
  40. Renault debutant Sainz Jr. targets top six 11:32

    Renault debutant Sainz Jr. targets top six

    Carlos Sainz Jr. believes he can capture a strong points haul on his Renault debut at the United States Grand Prix, after…

    F1
  41. Rossi prepared to play changed 'game' 11:06

    Rossi prepared to play changed 'game'

    Valentino Rossi says MotoGP tactics have become "a bit more dangerous" but insists he is prepared to match his rivals, after a…

    MotoGP
  42. Video: Behind the scenes with Ferrari 10:22

    Video: Behind the scenes with Ferrari

    Take another look behind-the-scenes with Ferrari during the weekend's action at the Circuit of the Americas.

    F1
  43. Márquez: Australian GP 'like a Moto3 race' 09:42

    Márquez: Australian GP 'like a Moto3 race'

    Marc Márquez labelled the Australian Grand Prix as "like a Moto3 race" after he prevailed in a thrilling scrap for victory at…

    MotoGP
more news