Jean-Eric Vergne insists that there are positives to take away from the Spanish Grand Prix
despite the disappointment of being forced to retire in Barcelona.
The Frenchman had hoped to make the most of a series of upgrades introduced by Toro Rosso
for the Catalunya weekend but saw his hopes go awry when he was involved in a collision with Nico Hulkenberg
in the pits and then suffered a damaged tyre that would end in his retirement.
However, despite the disappointment of failing to finish for the second successive race, Vergne insisted that the Spanish weekend hadn't been all negative with the 23-year-old saying he felt his team had made 'the biggest improvement of anyone'.
“While I'm not happy about how things turned out, I'm not miserable either, because up until the race I think we had a really good weekend,” he said. “First of all, the car felt good from the first moment we went out on track. We hardly had to change anything all weekend and we were quick across every session. I think that was shown in qualifying. We were P11 and P12 and the margin between making it into Q3 or not was incredibly tight. All weekend, the car felt great and the upgrades we had worked well. In fact, I think our team made the biggest improvement of anybody in Barcelona.
“It's been a tough few races for me but I wouldn't say it's a disaster. Luck comes and goes. It is part of racing. You have good moments and bad and I don't want to focus on the bad. I want to arrive in Monaco fully motivated. Last year I think I said street circuits are not my favourite but then I had a pretty good weekend and ran as high as seventh at one point, so maybe I'll change my mind.”
Vergne added however that he would treat Monaco with the respect it deserves in what will be his closest thing to a home race this season.
“You can't take anything for granted,” he said. “It's a really difficult track, fantastic but tricky. There is no room for error and you need to be on it every single second. It's a really special place, so I'll arrive there thinking that I'm a very small guy in the middle of this amazing circuit with all its history and tradition.
“It is a race where the attention is obviously on me and my compatriots – Jules Bianchi, Charles Pic
and Romain Grosjean
– but for me I don't think that brings extra pressure. There are extra demands on your time, but I don't mind that either. We don't have a race in France so this is as close as it gets – a couple of kilometres – and a lot of people come to support us. That's great, the attention is nice for all of us I think.”