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."