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Vergne: I could replace Webber

Jean-Eric Vergne says he could do a job for Red Bull Racing after Abu Dhabi test performance
Jean-Eric Vergne says he is confident he could match the performance of Mark Webber if he was given the chance to compete in F1 with Red Bull Racing in the future.

Vergne was in impressive form for the team in last week's Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi, posting the quickest time on each of the three days of running with a best lap that was less than half a second off the pole time set by Sebastian Vettel.

The Frenchman, who finished second in the World Series by Renault standings this season, will be back in F1 action this weekend in first free practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, where he will once again hit the track for Toro Rosso as he attempts to earn a race seat for 2012.

However, while keen to try and earn a race seat at the expense of Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi and Daniel Ricciardo, Vergne said he felt he had done enough in his Red Bull test to suggest he was already good enough to replace Webber when the Australian elects to call it a day.

"When I came back [from Yas Marina] I saw the comments of engineering boss Ian Morgan and they were very positive, I cannot hide it," Vergne is quoted as telling Le Nouvel Observateur. "I know that the top teams are cautious of young drivers; the only one that dared to go with a young guy recently was McLaren with Hamilton, and it worked.

"We have had a similar preparation; I did three days of testing and physically had no problems. So I think if I was put in the Red Bull, I would do no worse than Webber.

“But I know that the road is still long and where I go next is Brazil. This is my last practice session with Toro Rosso before I know what I will be doing next season."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
15.11.2011 Abu Dhabi, UEA, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), Red Bull Racing  - Formula 1 Testing Rookie Test, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship -
15.11.2011 Abu Dhabi, UEA, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), Red Bull Racing  - Formula 1 Testing Rookie Test, day 1 - Formula 1 World Championship -
12.11.2011- Saturday Practice, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), Test Driver, Scuderia Toro Rosso, STR6
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Le grand tete - Unregistered

November 21, 2011 3:30 PM

Wow, a bit presumptuous I'd say. Some rookie who didn't even win the class he is in comes in and says he will be second in F1, at the very worst! I assume he is going with the squeeky wheel tactics, that wouldn't make him a subservient teammate to Vettel. We won't see him at Red Bull while Vettel is there. THere are a lot of proven guys in F1 that would love a red bull seat before this kid, and just about all of them would have a chance to match Webbers results in that car, but who is willing to be a second driver, that is the key imho.

Kozeyekan

November 21, 2011 3:43 PM

Ah, Ze Franch Arro-gance! Fair play to the kid, he's done well in testing. However, having never taken to the track in an F1 race, it's a really big call to have a crack at Webber. I think Ricciardo would get the call before him, even if his F1 experience is in the worst car in the class. At least he has competed in F1.



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