Vergne says Hartley's Toro Rosso F1 call-up 'makes me laugh'

Ex-Formula 1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne says Brendon Hartley's call-up with Toro Rosso "makes me laugh" after the Kiwi had previously been dropped by Red Bull

Vergne says Hartley's Toro Rosso F1 call-up 'makes me laugh'

Speaking at a press conference ahead of next month's Paris Formula E race, Vergne commented on the arrangement that led to Hartley racing full time for Toro Rosso eight years after he was dropped from the Red Bull junior scheme.

"It makes me laugh that Red Bull called on Hartley, given that he's the one they fired to give me his seat in World Series by Renault," said Vergne.

"I find this rather amusing."

Vergne added that if fellow ex-Toro Rosso driver and FE rival Sebastien Buemi had landed Hartley's drive, he would "probably get fired after one year, with no options in top teams, as the car is not good enough".

The Techeetah driver, who leads the 2017/18 FE championship at the halfway stage, also explained how joining the electric series after he was dropped from Toro Rosso at the end of 2014 had helped his mindset.

"Joining Formula E was the most difficult time of my career, when leaving F1," he said.

"But with hindsight, I think it was the turning point of my career.

"In any difficult or negative situation, there are positives to draw. You just need to extract them.

"I was lucky to join Formula E at the right time and quickly change my mentality and my state of mind. Today, I think it's the best thing that can happen to me."

Vergne was "hurt" during F1 spell

Vergne recently discussed his career on Motorsport.tv's weekly show The Flying Lap.

The 27-year-old explained how he has changed his approach following his F1 exit and how he views his time in the championship.

"Looking back, I could have handled things differently," he said.

"I went through a hard 12 months, looking at how I could turn things around.

"I changed a lot of things in the way I approach the sport."

He added he had his confidence "destroyed" in F1.

"The positives were that I was able to learn from everything that happened and that today I don't believe that I can be hurt in Formula E the way I was hurt in F1.

"Outside the car I can now see everything with a different eye and as a global driver that's much better.

"I came into F1 really strong and confident but some people completely destroyed me.

"I finished eighth in my first race and there was a huge celebration in the team.

"They were super-happy. I walked back to the garage and I said 'Hey, that was only eighth place. That's not what I want'.

"If I went back now, that's definitely something I'd change.

"I'd be happy with eighth place - and that was the strength of Daniel Ricciardo.

"He was always happy, regardless of what happened. That I think was my biggest weakness."

shares
comments
Renault calls for F1 to freeze engine development for 2019 and 2021

Previous article

Renault calls for F1 to freeze engine development for 2019 and 2021

Next article

What F1 can learn from IndyCar for 2021

What F1 can learn from IndyCar for 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Brendon Hartley , Jean-Eric Vergne
Teams AlphaTauri
Author Benjamin Vinel
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021