Toro Rosso's new French ace Jean–Eric Vergne maintains he will not change his approach from the previous formulas he raced in into F1 by insisting 'it's all the same' for him.
Vergne, who finished as the runner up in this year's World Series by Renault championship along with making a few appearances in F1's Friday practice sessions for Toro Rosso seeks to continue driving in the same pressure free manner, starting in his debut season.
"It's all the same for me, because, whenever I am behind the wheel, whatever the car, whatever the formula, I always enjoy myself and do not feel any pressure," he said. "I just try to always give my best and to be as professional as possible."
The young Frenchman will partner fellow Red Bull protégé and former WSR rival Daniel Ricciardo for the Faenza based squad next season. The pair, while enjoying a good relationship, also share a strong rivalry.
Vergne believes their friendship will help in driving their team forwards next season.
"I think it's fantastic for me to be team-mates with him," he said. "He's a great guy and I like him as a friend. We joined the Red Bull programme together so we have known one another for a long time, working together in other series.
"In Formula 1, you only get one team-mate, so you have to make the best of it, working together to do as good a job as possible for the team. We have similar driving styles and we get on well and that will be a positive factor for us next year."
The 21-year-old however is under no illusions and acknowledges there is still much to learn as he enters his debut season. Vergne also expects his Aussie team-mate to have the upper hand during the opening races given the previous race experience he accrued last year at HRT.
"Dan could probably have a slight edge over me at first as he has done eleven races this year, but let's see how it develops, as we have all the winter testing ahead of us before we start racing," he said. "I know that I have a lot to learn, so I hope I can do that quickly. I am conscious it could be very tough, but I also know that in general, I learn and I adapt very quickly: certainly that was the case in every category that I have raced in so far. Formula 1 is different, tougher than all the rest, but I feel confident."
In the meantime the French rookie intends to head to Faenza and reacquaint himself with his team and engineers ahead of the vigorous schedule of winter testing.
"Of course, in the next few weeks, I will be going to the factory in Faenza to meet with the engineers and also to try and get to know everyone in the team a bit better, even if we established a good relationship when I was with the team in the last part of this season," said Vergne. "I've got quite a few questions going round in my head, so it will be good to get to Italy and discuss everything calmly before it's time to get in the cockpit again."
by Simon Evans