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Vergne: Webber tired of team-mate’s success, not F1

The drubbing he received at the hands of Sebastian Vettel was enough for Mark Webber to end his F1 career, claims Toro Rosso rival Jean-Eric Vergne.
Jean-Eric Vergne believes that Mark Webber was persuaded to call time on his F1 career by repeatedly having to watch Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel walk off with race wins and world titles.

Although the Australian – who heads to Porsche's nascent World Endurance Championship effort in 2014 – held his own in F1, winning races and challenging for the world title, he was unable to replicate the success enjoyed by his younger team-mate who, having been promoted from the Toro Rossso squad as a racewinner in 2009, enjoyed the best RBR had to offer as he hoovered up 38 victories and four world titles in a five-year partnership, while Webber visited the top step of the podium just eight times in the same spell, with a best championship finish of third in 2010, '11 and '13.

"I don't think he got tired of [F1]," Vergne told Spain's El Confidencial, "He got tired of his team-mate winning all the time - and another year of the same made no sense to him.

"He would not even be happy if his team continued to win everything. You might have the same car, but you would get tired of being beaten every weekend by your team-mate even when you are on the podium.

"I think Mark is a very good driver and a true competitor, but things were not going as he wanted. The goal is to win, not finish on the podium.”

With Webber gone, Vettel will be partnered next season by Daniel Ricciardo, a driver Vergne knows very well having been his team-mate at Toro Rosso for the past two seasons. Asked if he felt that the Australian could cause the world champion problems, the Frenchman replied 'I hope so', knowing that his own performances compared favourably to Ricciardo's.

Initially disappointed at having been passed over by RBR in favour of his team-mate, Vergne is now focused on bringing Toro Rosso back into contention for regular points finishes.

“Toro Rosso now belongs to the mid-table teams and wants to be above that,” he claimed, “The idea is to fight with teams like Lotus or McLaren, as has been done this year. They want to be in the top five and are working very hard for it.

“The philosophy has changed and we have a young man [Daniil Kvyat] in the line-up this year. I think Toro Rosso is a good place to be and I would not change unless it was for one of the greats.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Daniel Ricciardo joins Red Bull Racing
24.11.2013 - Race, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
24.11.2013 - Race, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138
23.11.2013- Free Practice 3, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
24.03.2013- Race, the podium; winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9, 2nd Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9
20.04.2014- Race, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
20.04.2014- Race, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
20.04.2014- Race, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
20.04.2014- Race, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
19.04.2014- free practice 3, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
19.04.2014- free practice 3, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9

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benignlyindifferent

December 28, 2013 1:09 AM

Hmm, I do not recall Webber stating that he had shared with Vergne the reasons for his retirement. Speculation, or wishful thinking, on Vergne's part, and even Riciardo is emboldened to suggest the coming year might be a great year to challenge Seb. I think both would be wise to keep quiet. One has yet to make it out of a Torro Rosso and the other is yet to score a point in a Red Bull. Why poke the four time champ with a stick at this point? I am definitely not a Seb fan but I do believe, as do his peers and team owners, that he is a very, very good driver at the peak of his career. Both Vergne and Riciardo may find that in comparison to their performance against Seb, Webber was actually quite good. I think Riciardo could find himself totally dominated this year at Red Bull. I do not wish it, but I think there is a real chance of this happening.



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