F1 » Vergne closes on Friday role, remains focused on 2012

Red Bull protege Jean-Eric Vergne looks increasingly likely to take part in Friday practice at the Korean, Abu Dhabi and Bazilians GPs this season.

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September 28, 2011 4:58 PM

So what chance that halfway through next year both Buemi and Alguersuari are gone. This leaves Ricciardo vs Vergne for a half season shootout for the Red Bull alongside Vettel in 2013? This guy looks like the real deal to me either way.


September 29, 2011 4:49 AM

I've posted it before and I'll post it again - STR lineup for 2012 will be Ricciardo, Algersuari (who will be under similar pressure to Buemi this year) and Vergne driving on Fridays and applying the blow torch to JA's seat.

@MrQwerty - I would be very, very surprised if Buemi was in a race seat that belonged to the Red Bull stable in 2012. I think Algersuari has done enough to get another chance next year, though. And Vergne is as yet untested - if Ricciardo couldn't get a full time STR seat this year, I doubt Vernge will next year, though he may well deserve one at the mid-point.


September 29, 2011 9:39 AM

If there's anything to learn from the promotion of Alguersuari, it is that while fridays may be a decent idea perhaps they should try and find him a seat in GP2 instead of even thinking about giving him a race seat anywhere in 2012. I think Ricciardo would have been better off with a combination of fridays and GP2 aswell TBH.


September 29, 2011 4:39 PM


I meant that Buemi goes at the end of this year, and possibly Jaime halfway through next. Out of interest who do people consider the brighter prospect out of Ricciardo and Vergne?


September 30, 2011 7:35 AM
Last Edited 1520 days ago

@MrQwerty - Ok, in that context then I agree with you. And good question... It's a little difficult to answer, not having seen Vergne drive, so I can only base my opinion on what is reported. I would say Ricciardo purely due to the fact that Red Bull have gone to the trouble of putting him in a race seat. It seems as though DR is further along in the 'driver development' program than Vergne at this point. Though from what I've read, they're apparently line-ball for speed and/or talent. I would be very worried if I were JA.
At the end of 2012, assuming JA is dropped for Vergne at the half way mark, Ricciardo will have 1.5 seasons of actual F1 experience to Vergne's 0.5, so logically DR would be first in line. Unless, of course, Vergne is just plain faster, and I think Red Bull are pragmatic enough to just choose the fastest driver on offer.


September 30, 2011 4:19 PM
Last Edited 1520 days ago

Yeah, both look better than Buemi and Alguersuari AT THIS STAGE. I do think that one of them will partner Vettel in 2013 as Red Bull would probably want to stick a young guy in rather than another experienced driver. And that's why I think Vergne will get half of next year so they can try and determine who is the stronger candidate, and a regular friday drive the playing field should be fairly level between the two. From what I've seen I think Vergne may have slightly more raw pace but that has to be tempered by Ricciardo clearly not having the Renault world series as number one priority for a lot of this year. We'll probably learn a lot about Vergne's mental strength by his performance at the final round next weekend.

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