Jean-Eric Vergne says he feels a lack of consistency has cost him the chance to partner Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull Racing next year.
Following the announcement that Mark Webber was to quit the sport to move to sportscars with Porsche, Vergne was mentioned as one of the possible replacements alongside current Toro Rosso team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen.
While Ricciardo and Raikkonen both remain in the frame, Vergne's name appears to have been quietly dropped from the shortlist, with the 23-year-old now more likely to stay with his current team for 2014.
That comes despite the fact that Vergne has scored more points than Ricciardo this season, although he has also failed to finish on four occasions – something he said he felt had been key in him dropping out of contention.
“Red Bull is the world champion team and it needs a driver who is going to score points at every race to win the title,” he was quoted as telling L'Equipe
. “If you look at the results this year, I've scored more points than Ricciardo, but he's finished all the races, I haven't.
“I have a label on my back. Even if it's false, in the paddock Ricciardo is seen as consistent and I'm not. The choice is complicated. Horner isn't the only one making the decision. Adrian Newey has a say, as does Dietrich Mateschitz and Helmut Marko.
“I understand the risks they take, hiring a young driver like Daniel or me. And seeing a driver who doesn't finish half his races unsettles them.”