MAY 8, 2018

Vergne doubts he would accept F1 return

Jean-Eric Vergne agrees with those who think 2019 could finally be Ferrari's year.

Jean-Eric Vergne agrees with those who think 2019 could finally be Ferrari's year.

Recently, the former F1 driver continued his career as a Ferrari tester, but he is now focusing on Formula E and the world endurance championship.

"I'm no longer with Ferrari, but I'm convinced this season can be theirs," he told La Derniere Heure.

Vergne, now 28, drove in F1 for Toro Rosso, but was among the many victims of the Red Bull driver programme.

"I don't regret leaving formula one," he insists. "Even if I was invited to return, as happened with Brendon Hartley, I doubt that I would accept it.

"What does Hartley have? A contract for one, two years maximum. What will he do then?

"I'm much more attracted by the opportunity of competing in two championships at the same time," Vergne added.

As for the big Red Bull star, Vergne urged Max Verstappen to "calm down" amid his tumultuous 2018 season and criticism.

"Max is a unique driver who is very talented and takes a lot of risks," he said. "Previously he was lucky, because he managed to pull off moves that are one in a hundred. Only now it's not working.

"If he calms down a little and focuses on the main thing - finishing the races - he will be where he should be, which is in the leaders group.

"But now he is making too many mistakes that can be avoided," Vergne added.

Finally, Vergne spoke about McLaren, as the British team continues to struggle even after switching from Honda to Renault power.

"When you have the same engine as a team that wins races, and you're also behind Toro Rosso with Honda, this should be a concern," he said.

"I think McLaren has huge pressure. Fernando (Alonso) told me that the team is preparing a lot of new parts for Barcelona, which would also be good for Stoffel Vandoorne.

"I think if he was at Mercedes or Ferrari, he would win races. He is in no way inferior to Vettel or Hamilton," Vergne concluded.