Max Verstappen says he wants Jean-Eric Vergne to be his Toro Rosso team-mate next season.
Vergne was set to leave the team after being replaced by Verstappen in August, but Sebastian Vettel's decision to leave Red Bull caused Daniil Kvyat to be promoted. With a Toro Rosso seat available once again – and team principal Franz Tost confirming a four-man shortlist
– Verstappen said he wants the experience of Vergne rather than a rookie as a team-mate.
“For the team it's better to have an experienced driver, so in the end I think it will be better if Jean-Eric stays,” Verstappen said. “I think at the end it is also better for me because he has a lot of experience and can help me to improve myself as well.”
Asked if Vergne deserves another chance, Verstappen replied: “I think he has great talent, otherwise he would not even be in F1 before. I think he deserves it [to be in F1].”
And Verstappen also said his relationship with Vergne so far has been good, despite the uncertainty over the Frenchman's future.
“He's relaxed and he's a good guy. He's friendly to me and I appreciate that a lot. Hopefully we can work together next year.”