Jean-Éric Vergne  France

  • Full name Jean-Éric Vergne
  • Birth date April 25, 1990
  • Birthplace Pontoise, France
  • Current age 30 years 306 days
  • Teams Ferrari, Toro Rosso
driver portrait
World Championship Career
Year Car Race Start Won Pod Class Best Pole Front Best Lap Hat Pts Pos
2012 Toro Rosso 20 20 0 0 16 8 0 0 11 0 0 16 17
2013 Toro Rosso 19 19 0 0 14 6 0 0 7 0 0 13 15
2014 Toro Rosso 19 19 0 0 14 6 0 0 6 0 0 22 13
Total 58 58 0 0 44 6 0 0 6 0 0 51
Race Circuit Date
First race Australian Grand Prix Albert Park March 18, 2012 Race results
Last race Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina November 23, 2014 Race results
© Sutton Images

Jean-Eric Vergne started karting at his father's track at the age of four, and enjoyed success in karts before switching to single-seater racing where he became French champion in 2007 and 2008.

He won the British Formula Three Championship in 2010, his 12 wins from the first 24 races giving him the title with six races to go, and had a brief but less successful foray in the GP3 Series. He also competed in six Formula Renault 3.5 Series races at the end of the season, winning once and being on the podium four times.

On the strength of this he was contracted to drive full-time in 2011, and his five wins during the season meant he finished runner-up in the championship. In 2010 he drove for Toro Rosso in the post-season young driver test in Abu Dhabi, and in 2011 the team announced he would drive for it in practice during the final grands prix of the calendar. He impressed enough to gain a race seat at Toro Rosso when the team decided to change both drivers at the end of 2011.

His debut season saw him score 12 points, but overall he was overshadowed by team-mate Ricciardo. Qualifying proved to be a bit of a weakness and he failed to make the cut for Q2 on ten occasions. Nevertheless, there were signs of potential and he was retained for 2013.

Then came the big chance as Mark Webber announced his retirement and the two Toro Rosso drivers were in pole position to take the vacant seat at Red Bull in 2014. However, it was Ricciardo who responded the stronger and edged out Vergne, leaving him to face a third year at Toro Rosso.

Vergne had a strong start to 2014 by finishing sixth in Australia but he and rookie team-mate Daniil Kvyat were soon hampered by the unreliable Toro Rosso. The impressive performances of Kvyat put Vergne's form under the spotlight and Red Bull's patience appeared to have come to an end, with the announcement Max Verstappen would replace him in 2014. Kvyat was then elevated to Red Bull to replace Vettel, giving Vergne a reprieve but, despite a series of strong drives at the end of the season, he lost his place to Carlos Sainz Jr for 2015.

Without a drive for 2015 he was snapped up by Ferrari as a test driver, and has also joined Formula E with the Andretti team.

Strengths and Weaknesses
He is obviously talented but has often failed to demonstrate it consistently. Vergne's lack of one-lap pace compared to former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo meant he was often caught out in Q1 but he put in some impressive race performances to make up for it.

Career High
Racing from 16th on the grid to eighth at the finish at the Korean Grand Prix, passing team-mate Ricciardo on the way.

Career Low
Being overlooked for the 2014 Red Bull seat after Ricciardo picked up his form at the crucial time in 2013. Being ousted by Toro Rosso in favour of two rookies for 2015 was a further blow.

"I actually don't believe so much in that rookie status thing. I am a fully-fledged driver."

"Some people will tell you that we [Ricciardo and Vergne] are in a fight for the Red Bull cockpit, but I don't see that right now. I am racing for Toro Rosso and I want to help make the car a points contender."

Vergne's second favourite sport after motor-racing is sailing.


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