Vergne staying grounded

Toro Rosso driver won't be drawn on possible Red Bull promotion

Last Updated: 07/02/12 12:09pm

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Jean-Eric Vergne: Focused on upcoming season rather than 2013

Jean-Eric Vergne: Focused on upcoming season rather than 2013

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Toro Rosso new boy Jean-Eric Vergne is refusing to be drawn into any speculation over a potential promotion to Red Bull for next year.

The Frenchman has progressed through the ranks with Red Bull's young driver development programme and this season will make his Formula One race debut.

Vergne participated in three Friday practice sessions towards the end of last season and was the pace-setter in the young driver test at the end of the campaign in Abu Dhabi.

The 21-year-old, who narrowly missed out on the Formula Renault 3.5 title in 2011, was rewarded with a full race seat at Toro Rosso alongside Daniel Ricciardo.

There have been suggestions that one of the two will replace Mark Webber at Red Bull in 2013, but Vergne has been careful not to get too far ahead of himself.

"I am not thinking at 2013," Vergne said.

Questions

"Obviously there is probably a chance with Red Bull, but I will not answer these kinds of questions because at the moment I don't want to look too far ahead.

"For this year I am with Toro Rosso. I will do my best for this year, and then see what happens in the future.

"Of course, I don't want to be in F1 to be one of the drivers in the field. I want one day to be on the top of this list of good drivers. So I don't need anybody to put the pressure on me."

Vergne admits that he has a tough task to get fully up to speed before the start of the first race of the season but is looking forward to the challenge.

"I have been with Red Bull for the past five years, working a lot with the team, and I also have done Friday practices with Toro Rosso, all of which I think helped convince them I was good enough to be in the car. I need to prove them right," he said.

"I have a lot to learn, and I need to gain as much experience as possible, particularly from testing. It's going to be tough but I'm really looking forward to it.

"It would be nice to finish as many times as possible in the points, but first we have to see how our car compares to others. The team did an incredible job last year though and I hope this year we can do even better."

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