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I could match Webber - Vergne

ESPNF1 Staff
November 21, 2011 « Force India not taking sixth in constructors' for granted | Marko wary of rejuvenated Hamilton »
Jean-Eric Vergne impressed for Red Bull during the Young Driver Test © Sutton Images

Red Bull young driver Jean-Eric Vergne has said that he "would do no worse than [Mark] Webber" if he was given a race seat.

Vergne topped the timesheets in all three sessions of the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi as he tested the RB7 for the first time. With Red Bull looking at which young driver will eventually replace Webber when he retires, Vergne's immediate target would appear to be a seat with Toro Rosso. However, with Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi and Daniel Ricciardo all competing for the same seat, Vergne believes he has shown enough to already be in position to replace Webber.

"When I came back (from the test) I saw the comments of (engineering boss) Ian Morgan and they were very positive, I cannot hide it," Vergne is quoted by Le Nouvel Observateur. "I know that the top teams are cautious of young drivers; the only one (McLaren) that dared to go with a young guy recently was Hamilton, and it worked.

"We have had a similar preparation; I did three days of testing and physically had no problems. So I think if I was put in the Red Bull, I would do no worse than Webber."

Vergne does admit, however, that he needs to impress in FP1 in Brazil to put himself in the best possible position for 2012.

"That's my impression, anyway, after these tests. But I know that the road is still long and where I go next is Brazil. This is my last practice session with Toro Rosso before I know what I will be doing next season."