Jean-Eric Vergne says he will not get caught up only chasing another F1 seat after losing his drive at Toro Rosso for 2015, but believes a Red Bull drive is not out of the question.
Max Verstappen will replace Vergne next season
, with Toro Rosso team principal saying three years was enough for Vergne but that he would be the best driver to leave the team and not move up to Red Bull. While still assessing his options, Vergne believes he would be a prime candidate to replace Sebastian Vettel if needed, but said he was open to a move to another category as well.
“I see many drivers who wanted to focus too much on F1 and at the end of the day they get nowhere,” Vergne said. “I'm not stupid, I have my eyes open I would say…”
With rumours surrounding Vettel's future at Red Bull
, when asked if it was impossible that he could move up to partner Ricciardo again should the four-time champion move on, Vergne replied: “Absolutely not.
“You'd have to ask Helmut Marko or Christian Horner but I don't think they've been disappointed with Daniel's performances so far this year. I've learned a lot in the last three years with Toro Rosso, I'm extremely hungry for success and extremely motivated. So I'm giving my best to give myself the best chance possible.”
Vergne was also keen to thank Red Bull for giving him as long as possible to try and secure a seat for 2015, saying the early announcement “definitely” helped.
“I think it was a good thing and it was really kind of Red Bull to let us know really early. They could have told only me but that would not have helped me a lot; that everybody is aware of it really helps me. The important point as well is the reason why they changed and it's good that everybody is aware of that as well.”
And Vergne admitted it will be good to get back to racing in Monza after it had been tough to keep his focus in Spa with all the interest around the driver change.
“I've been working in the background and exploring all the different options that I have. That's all I can say at the moment; I want to stay focused on this race. To be fair, the last race was more focused on what to say, how to behave and everything. Now it's passed and it's behind me, I'm happy I can focus on only driving and that's what I'm going to do this weekend.”