2014 F1

Vergne targets 2015 after ‘cruel’ career blow

FORMULA 1 - Tests in Barcelona
Jean-Eric Vergne insists he is not giving up on formula one.

Two and a half seasons into his F1 grooming by Red Bull, the energy drink company’s famously-harsh driver programme – led by the gruff Dr Helmut Marko – has given the 24-year-old Frenchman his notice.

Not long ago, Vergne was the beneficiary of the severity of Marko’s decisions when Toro Rosso ousted Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari — the latter just two years after making his F1 debut as a teenager.

“F1 can be cruel,” former McLaren driver John Watson told the Mirror this week, “as it was to Vergne and Alguersuari.”

It is not yet clear if Red Bull will throw Vergne a Buemi-like lifeline and offer him another F1 role for 2015.

Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost said only in Monday’s statement that he hopes Vergne can show “he still deserves another opportunity in formula one”.

Vergne told his more than 140,000 Twitter that he intends to do just that.

“Toro Rosso is a good school. I learnt a lot,” he said.

“Now I’m focussed on a great end of the season. I’m already working for 2015. Still a lot to show in F1.” (GMM)

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