Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne is looking forward to the start of the 2014 FIA F1 World Championship, and thinks that by missing out on a drive for the Milton Keynes-based Red Bull team for the new season, he will become an even stronger driver this season.
Vergne will again drive for the part Bicester-based Toro Rosso team in 2014 - his third season with the local F1 squad - after his team-mate from last year, Daniel Ricciardo, switched to Toro Rosso’s sister team, Red Bull, as replacement for Mark Webber and will drive alongside multiple world champion, Sebastian Vettel.
Vergne said: “Back at that time when the team’s made their choices I thought there would be a chance to drive for Red Bull in 2014. I’m not sure we want to go through the whole story again, but obviously it was a difficult moment to go through. I took it a little bit as a loss and bad luck, but when something is bad, everything can become bad around you.”
But the 23-year-old says he is now looking ahead to the new season, adding: “I really took the time this winter to look myself and I realised it was actually good for me not to have gone to Red Bull.
“I’m happy to be here with Toro Rosso and it’s made me a lot stronger as a driver because I believe that if I would have gone to Red Bull it would have been like a win for myself, and all the work I have done this winter I don’t think I would have done it in the same way.
“I see Toro Rosso as having really big potential and I’m extremely happy about being in this team this year. I think I am in a good position and I think they have really good plans in the pipeline.”
Toro Rosso joined many of the other teams at the Jerez circuit in Spain last week for the first pre-season test of the season, with Vergne and his new team-mate, Russian GP3 series graduate, Daniil Kvyat, driving the team’s new Renault-powered STR9 car.