18 July 2012
Vergne: Best yet to come for Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne: We've done some good things, but it's clear that we still have a lot of work to do.
Jean-Eric Vergne reckons that the 'best is definitely still to come' from him and Toro Rosso.
The Frenchman made his debut at the top level this year and while he scored in only his second race - finishing eighth in the race affected Malaysian Grand Prix - there has been no other top-ten finishes for the 22-year-old.
Despite that though, and despite being regularly bumped out in Q1, he believes he is making progress and that he has learnt a lot in the first ten races of F1 2012. Indeed he has got to the finish in all but one of the grand's prix and thinks one of the main things holding him and team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo back, is the car.
“In terms of progress, I think I've done well,” Vergne said in his official blog ahead of the German Grand Prix. “In fact, we've all done well as a team. We don't have the car we'd like yet but that doesn't mean we haven't all worked hard to try to get to where we want to be.
“I've learned a lot since the start of the season and the best is definitely still to come. The moment you stop learning, well, that's the moment you should stop doing what you're doing.”
Vergne also added that pressure is not something that gets to him, even if there is no doubt Red Bull take no prisoners when it comes to deciding the line-up for the 'B' team, as evidenced at the end last season, when Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari were both unceremoniously axed from the Toro Rosso line-up.
“There's also a lot of talk about the pressure facing both me and Daniel – pressure to perform, to beat each other, to prove that we can step up to the next level when the time comes. It comes from within Red Bull, from Dr Marko, from Giorgio Ascanelli and from Franz Tost. But that's completely normal. If a driver doesn't feel the pressure to perform from his team then they're not showing much ambition and he's either unbelievably superior to every other driver or a complete flop,” Vergne continued.
“Me and Daniel have to be at the top of our game all the time because there's a lot invested in us and also because everyone within Toro Rosso expects us to deliver to the best of our ability, all the time.
“So far, we're doing that as much as we can. It's always hard to measure when the car isn't quite there but if anyone is looking for evidence, it's there in how hard we race each other every grand prix weekend. Daniel is a really good driver and the competition between us is intense. If he pushes hard I'll push back harder and that's a good way to move the team forward.
“I've always done well under pressure. I respond to it well and it's never been a problem for me. My attitude is that if you let that kind of thing get to you then you're already finished. You have to keep digging deep and you have to rise to the challenge.
“So that's where I think I am at mid-season – so far, so good. We've done some good things, but it's clear that we still have a lot of work to do. That starts in Hockenheim...
“It's a circuit that I have some good memories of and I hope I can add a few more this weekend.”
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