Jean-Eric Vergne was celebrating after finishing in sixth place in the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix, the best he's achieved in 27 starts for the Toro Rosso team since joining the squad at the start of the 2012 season.

"Incredible! I'm very happy," he said. "The best result for me of course, but also the highest finishing position since Vettel's results for the team in 2008," he pointed out.

And it wasn't some lucky fluke, either: "It was a normal race in the dry, with no one going out in front of me so we achieved this position fair and square," he said.

Vergne had qualified in seventh position on Saturday wit a little help from the confusion caused by the rapidly changing inclement conditions during qualifying, but come race day it was dry and much warmer - and the Toro Rosso improved along with the weather.

"We had the pace to maintain that position, although we did not have the speed of those ahead," agreed Vergne. "I passed Bottas and Raikkonen and from then I managed my race, keeping an eye on Sutil who was behind me for much of the time - that meant I could never ease up until the flag."

It paid off with sixth place, and Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost couldn't have been happier with the performance: "Jean-Eric's sixth place is a fantastic result for him, the team here in Canada and everyone who works so hard behind the scenes in Faenza and Bicester," he said.

"Jev did a great job to keep his concentration on this difficult track," he continued. "He also managed his tyres very well, which meant that once he had secured sixth place, he was able to keep it all the way to the flag."

As well as being Vergne's best result in F1 to date in its own right, it also makes for encouraging signs of a strong consistent run of performances for the 23-year-old after he also finished in the points in the completely different environs of Monaco two weeks ago.

"After finishing eighth in Monaco, this result on another difficult track has boosted my confidence and I feel I have progressed as a driver," he said. "We must continue to push hard on the development of the car, starting with the next race at Silverstone, so that we can aim even higher than this."

Unfortunately it wasn't such a successful day for Vergne's team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who'd gone into Sunday demoted a place on the grid to 11th for a pit lane infraction during Saturday's at-times chaotic qualifying.

He'd made his way up to eighth before his first pit stop on lap 13, but then dropped all the way back to 18th, and despite his best labours from that point he ultimately ended up finishing the race a disappointing 15th position after suffering from tyre issues and balance problems.

"I got a really good start, making up two positions off the line and then I was on the outside for turn 2, which meant H?lkenberg took me back," he said, recalling his early battle with the Sauber F1 driver. "When he ran wide at the chicane, I was ahead of him again and I gained another place when Sutil went off," he said, referring to the Force India's pin at turn 3 on lap 6 while battling to pass Valtteri Bottas in the Williams.

"At that point, I felt we could have a good race, but after just four laps, the car was oversteering like crazy and I couldn't manage the tyres anymore,' he revealed. "As the race went on, we tried to improve the car balance and maybe we improved it a bit, but our pace was really slow.

"We didn't change so much on the car since Friday, so why we were so slow is a mystery to me at the moment," he added.

"He suffered a lack of grip at the rear and found the car unstable over the kerbs," explained Tost. "But he can fight back from this disappointment and I expect both our drivers to challenge for points again in Silverstone in two weeks time."

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment