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'Best is definitely still to come' - Vergne

ESPN Staff
July 19, 2012 « Massa eyes fifth in drivers' standings | Bottas ready for race seat »
Jean-Eric Vergne has struggled in qualifying this season, dropping out in Q1 on four occasions © Press Association
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Jean-Eric Vergne says that Toro Rosso is progressing well this season and that his best performances are "definitely still to come".

Having been brought in alongside Daniel Ricciardo at Toro Rosso in place of Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi at the start of this season, Vergne has scored four points so far but has failed to finish higher than 12th in his last seven races. Writing in his blog on the Red Bull website, Vergne took stock of his year so far and feels he is improving the more he learns.

"Inevitably, reaching the middle of the season means you get asked lots of questions about progress and pressure and how the team is shaping up," Vergne said. "In terms of progress, I think I've done well. In fact, we've all done well as a team. We don't have the car we'd like yet but that doesn't mean we haven't all worked hard to get where we want to be. I've learned a lot since the start of the season and the best is definitely still to come. The moment you stop learning, that's the moment you should stop doing what you're doing."

Vergne added that he does feel the pressure that Toro Rosso is putting on both him and his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo but says he reacts well in such conditions.

"There's also a lot of talk about the pressure facing both me and Daniel - pressure to perform, to beat each other, to prove that we can step up to the next level when the time comes ... There's the pressure from within as well. Me and Daniel have to be at the top of our game all the time because there's a lot invested in us and also because everyone within Toro Rosso expects us to deliver to the best of our ability, all the time.

"So far, we're doing that as much as we can. It's always hard to measure when the car isn't quite there, but if anyone is looking for evidence, it's there in how hard we race each other every grand prix weekend. Daniel is a really good driver and the competition between us is intense. If he pushes hard I'll push back harder and that's a good way to move the team forward.

"I've always done well under pressure. I respond to it well and it's never been a problem for me. My attitude is that if you let that kind of thing get to you then you're already finished. You have to keep digging deep and you have to rise to the challenge."