Tag Archives: Jean Eric Vergne

Toro Rosso launches STR8 at Jerez

Toro Rosso has revealed its 2013 Formula 1 challenger, the STR8, on the eve of this year’s first pre-season test at Jerez.

The Italian squad was a distant ninth in last year’s constructors’ championship, although it did finish the year strongly with six points finishes in the final nine races.

Red Bull protegees Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne have been retained for their second full seasons.

“It’s very emotional,” said team boss Franz Tost. “The team has worked with a very high level of effort to come up with a great car and met the high expectations for this year.

“The goal is to finish sixth in the constructors’ championship. The STR8 is the first car under James Key and Luca Furbatto.

“Both drivers did a really good job last year, and I’m convinced if we supply them with a good car they’ll come up with surprise results.”

The team has made changes behind the scenes, with former Sauber technical chief James Key arriving in September – a move team principal Franz Tost believes will usher in a ‘new chapter’ in the team’s history.

For the seventh straight year the team will be powered by Ferrari engines.

The unveiling of the STR8 means eight teams have now revealed their 2013 challengers.

Caterham and Marussia will follow suit tomorrow, immediately before the start of Jerez testing, while Williams will take the covers of the FW35 ahead of the second test at Barcelona.

Credits: Autosport.com

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Scuderia Toro Rosso retains Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne for 2013

Scuderia Toro Rosso have decided to retain Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo for the 2013 F1 season, the team announced today.
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Jean Eric Vergne made his debut with Toro Rosso this season after finishing second in the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 championship.

Vergne has scored 12 points so far and is currently in 17th position in the drivers’ championship.

“I am really happy about this great news,” he said.

“Thank you Toro Rosso and thank you Red Bull, who have backed me since the early days of my career.

“It has been a difficult season and, as a rookie, I have learned a lot, thanks to the support I got and the excellent relationship I have enjoyed with all the guys.

“I feel much stronger now and I know I have become a better driver over the course of the season.

“I really believe in this team and with all the experience I have gained, combined with the team’s ambitious plans for next year, I think we can look forward to great things in 2013, attacking all the way.”

Daniel Ricciardo made his F1 racing debut with HRT last season at the British Grand Prix before switching to Toro Rosso for the 2012 season.

The Australian has scored 9 points so far this season.

“I am really pumped to know that I am continuing with Scuderia Toro Rosso for another season and want to thank the team and Red Bull,” Ricciardo said.

“There are big expectations for next year and I’m ready and willing to fulfil them.

“I feel I have been growing and developing as a driver and my approach to the technical side of the sport has also progressed this year, so I am sure that will serve me well in my second season with Toro Rosso.

“We have had quite a tough season, but despite that, I have always enjoyed a good relationship with all the guys and I am delighted at the idea of working with them for another year.”

Team boss Franz Tost added: “Both drivers have done a good job this season. Daniel joined us with a few grands prix under his belt and so his feedback and experience was particularly useful while Jean-Eric got up to speed, often having to deal with tracks he had never seen before.

“Since the summer break, both drivers have scored more points and everyone in the team has been impressed with their maturity in terms of working with the engineers and their race craft on track.

“We will be doing our best in the next few months, to produce a 2013 car which will allow them to demonstrate their talent.”

The Bulls are Back in Town: Singapore GP review

By Phillip Horton on Monday, September 24, 2012

It was a marathon Grand Prix, but at the end of fifty-nine laps of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, it was reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel who was the first driver to meet the chequered flag. In a season of twists and turns, it now appears to be a case of which of Vettel or Fernando Alonso will be the one to claim a third title as twenty-nine points separates the duo, with the circus heading to a series of circuits on which Vettel excels.

Having dominated practice and Q2, it came as a surprise to see Lewis Hamilton and Vettel split at the front of the grid by the Williams of Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan driver has been known for pulling a fast lap out of the bag when it mattered and so it proved in the dying stages of qualifying. Hamilton set two laps good enough for pole position, with the latter of his attempts the slowest as it included a tap of the wall on the exit of Turn 21.

The advantage Maldonado secured through his qualifying lap was soon gone. Hamilton scampered away at the start but the Williams driver ran slightly wide in Turn 2, enough to give Vettel the space to get through, and allow Jenson Button to nab Maldonado on the run down to Turn 5. Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg ignored Turn 2, but the stewards deemed that they had no option but to take to the run-off. A minor collision left Vitaly Petrov with a broken front wing and Felipe Massa with a puncture, dropping both firmly to the back of the pack.

Hamilton and Vettel soon pulled a gap on third placed Button, although the 2009 world champion stabilised the gap at six seconds. Vettel’s tyres began to wear earlier than his McLaren rivals, causing the Red Bull driver to run wide at the Singapore Sling and slowly drop back into the clutches of Button.

Hamilton ponders another retirement

Vettel was forced to pit before Button caught him, and while he emerged from his stop in traffic, he soon found clean air in which to bang in a fast lap. McLaren responded by bringing Hamilton in for his stop, leaving Button out front. After another few laps, he made his stop and emerged around three seconds shy of Vettel.

The race appeared destined to be a straight fight between Hamilton and Vettel, although the McLaren man later said that he was cruising when disaster struck on Lap 22. Vettel said his rival had been losing oil for a couple of laps and when Hamilton accelerated after Turn 1, smoke poured from his car. He lost gears, coasted to a halt at Turn 5 and dejectedly walked away to contemplate a third retirement in five races, one that leaves his title hopes in tatters.

Vettel picked up the race lead ahead of Button, leaving Maldonado to fight with Alonso for the final podium place.

When Narain Karthikeyan crashed underneath the grandstand at Turn 18 on Lap 30, the front runners deemed the timing of the safety car ideal to make a second and final stop. The race order remained largely unchanged, although the timing of the caution period seriously hindered Mark Webber’s progress.

Michael Schumacher collided with Jean Eric Vergne

At the restart Vettel maintained his lead, but further back more chaos prompted a second safety car period. Jean Eric Vergne was battling with Sergio Perez when he was struck from behind by Michael Schumacher, sending both drivers out of the race amidst a spraying of debris at Turn 14. Schumacher arrived at the corner with both front tyres locking and was later deemed to be at fault for the collision. It was the second successive Singapore race in which the German had misjudged the braking zone of his rivals and the second time this season, after the Spanish Grand Prix, in which he had eliminated a competitor in similar fashion. He was subsequently handed a ten place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Williams had curiously pitted Maldonado during the second safety car period, dropping him to tenth place and seemingly handing a podium to Alonso. But Maldonado was soon informed that his FW34 had developed a hydraulics issue and he was forced to retire. It has now been nine races since Maldonado won the Spanish Grand Prix; the event remains the most recent time that he has scored a point.

With the clock ticking down towards the two hour mark, the race became a timed event rather than running to the scheduled sixty-one laps. Button and Vettel nearly came together at Turn 16 prior to the restart, with the stewards later analysing the data from Vettel’s RB8 to establish that the German had not behaved erratically.

The race largely settled down with Vettel maintaining a gap to Button, with a distance back to Alonso and Paul di Resta. The Force India driver had qualified on the third row of the grid and stayed out of trouble to profit from Maldonado and Hamilton falling by the wayside.

Pastor Maldonado’s strong drive went unrewarded. Photo Credit: Williams F1 Team

Nico Rosberg soon fell back from di Resta and just managed to keep the Lotus duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean at bay. Raikkonen expressed his frustration at a “boring race” with limited overtaking opportunities, although he was let through by Grosjean under instruction by the team.

Felipe Massa spent the final stint of the race on the option tyres and he put them to good use. The Ferrari driver passed a couple of his rivals and then pulled off one of the moves of the season. Massa got a run on Bruno Senna exiting the Anderson Bridge, but his compatriot failed to see him in his mirrors, squeezing Massa between the barrier and the side of the FW34. Massa’s car snapped sideways, before Massa saved the car in a Scandinavian flick style manoeuvre. Not only did Massa somehow avoid contact with either the inside or outside barriers and Senna’s car, but he passed his rival in the process.

Daniel Ricciardo benefited from his team-mate’s demise to secure ninth, ahead of fellow Australian Mark Webber. However, the latter was subsequently given a time penalty for exceeding track limits when passing Kamui Kobayashi. It was a harsh penalty and once again raises the question of sanctions from the stewards and where the difference is between giving your rival space and passing off of the track.

Webber’s penalty elevated Sergio Perez to tenth place, allowing the Swiss team to salvage a point from what was a difficult weekend. Kamui Kobayashi and Nico Hulkenberg made contact, forcing both into the pits for repairs.

The collision between Kobayashi and Hulkenberg, combined with the late retirement of Bruno Senna, allowed Timo Glock into twelfth place. The German driver hit the wall early on in the race but continued and managed his tyres on a lengthy stint to record Marussia’s best ever race finish. The result allows the team to leapfrog Caterham in the battle for tenth place in the Constructors Championship.

Back at the front, Vettel is now in prime position to become only the third man to secure three successive world championships. Of course, he has a twenty-nine point deficit to recover, but his initial reaction after winning his first race since Bahrain, after the natural elation, was to think of more important matters than mere championship points.

“I would like to dedicate it to one very, very special man, Professor Sid Watkins who passed away and we remember him for sure”, he said.

“I think he is one of the biggest reasons we can go out on a circuit like this and enjoy ourselves and be reasonably safe. He pushed the boundaries in terms of safety for all of us, so a big thank you to him”

We can all agree with that.

Source: F1zone.net

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel wins Singapore GP

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Singapore: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel positioned himself as the main challenger to Fernando Alonso’s Formula One title chances by earning his second straight Singapore Grand Prix win on Sunday, jumping up to second place in the drivers’ championship. Vettel inherited the lead from pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, who led the race until he suffered a gearbox failure on lap 23 of 59 and had to retire. It was defending champion Vettel’s second win of the season after Bahrain and he reinvigorated his chances of earning a third straight title. “We benefited a little bit from Lewis’ failure,” Vettel said. “We had a very, very strong pace all weekend and a good start, which got us in the hunt. “I am just incredibly happy and proud.” Vettel had to defend his win both on the track and in the stewards’ room after the race, having been called in to explain an incident behind the safety car when he hit the brakes unexpectedly at the exit of a corner, forcing second-place driver Jenson Button of McLaren to quickly swerve, with a collision narrowly avoided. Stewards cleared him of wrongdoing. Hamilton suffered his third non-finish in five races ” interspersed with two wins ” as his gearbox finally gave up, having leaked fluid for three to four laps before he retired. “It’s heartbreaking not to have finished the race today,” Hamilton said. “We definitely had the pace to win this weekend. In fact, before I retired, I was cruising.” Button was right on the tail of Vettel when racing resumed after the safety car with 18 laps to go, but said his car felt unbalanced in the closing stages, and he was not able to challenge the German. The race was stopped when it reached the two-hour time limit, two laps before its scheduled finish, chiefly due to two safety car periods. Alonso finished third in his Ferrari, with his championship lead trimmed from 37 to 29 points with six races to go, giving Vettel fresh impetus as he seeks to join Juan-Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as the only men to have won three straight F1 titles.

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“It looks better than before,” Vettel said. “We have a lot of races left, the car seems to be competitive and we just have to use the momentum and keep pushing for these last races and see what happens.”

Force India’s Paul di Resta finished a career-best fourth ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg. Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus was sixth and maintained third place in the championship standings despite not having won a race. Lotus teammate Romain Grosjean was seventh. Felipe Massa of Ferrari finished eighth after dropping down to last following a first-lap puncture, and he finished ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, in only his second points finish of the season. Fellow Australian Mark Webber of Red Bull crossed the line in 10th, but was given a 20-second penalty for overtaking off the limits of the track, dropping him down to 11th and moving Sauber’s Sergio Perez into the last points position. Schumacher was also given a penalty after crashing heavily into the back of Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne. He was handed a 10 grid-place penalty for the next race, as he admitted the error and it was his second similar offense this season.

Button was relatively pleased with second place, though disappointed with Hamilton’s non-finish, which put a major dent in McLaren’s bid to end a 13-year drought in the constructors’ championship. “Seb didn’t make any mistakes and we finished second,” Button said. “It’s good to get some points on the board after the retirement at Monza. “It’s disappointing for the team to have another DNF (did not finish). We can’t seem to do it with both cars and for sure that is something we need to work on for the remainder of the season.”

Alonso acknowledged that Ferrari continues to struggle for pace, and his race was one of several which were compromised by the timing of the safety-car interventions, but he was satisfied with having maintained a good buffer atop the standings. “It’s a fantastic result in terms of points,” Alonso said. “It’s a positive weekend, a very good weekend; of the four, five contenders we lost points to one and with the others we increased our advantage.”

Williams driver Pastor Maldonado started in a surprise second place and was running in third position halfway through the race but was forced to retire with a hydraulic failure.