Vergne sets sights on Red Bull seat in 2014

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Jean-Eric Vergne has set his sights on partnering Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull in 2014.

Following the “Multi 21” scandal at the Malaysian Grand Prix, Mark Webber’s days with the team appear to be numbered, and it is unlikely that Red Bull will opt to renew his contract which expires at the end of the season. This has sparked much debate as to who will replace the Australian driver, and although Vergne is keen on taking the seat, the Frenchman admits he needs to improve his performances.

“I am in Toro Rosso at the moment. I deserve my place and I have to prove it to everyone by getting results,” Vergne told Totalrace.

“If my performances are good, I’ll get a spot at Red Bull.”

Toro Rosso has acted as a ‘sister team’ to Red Bull since its inception in 2006, with Sebastian Vettel spending eighteen months in Faenza. However, the triple champion is the only driver to have made the step up, whilst Scott Speed, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Sebastian Bourdais, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi have all been dropped by Toro Rosso.

Many expected Vergne and teammate Daniel Ricciardo to meet a similar fate after a disappointing 2012 season, but they were give a second year by the team. Vergne has admitted that he must excel not only to be in the running for the seat at Red Bull, but also in order to remain with Toro Rosso.

“Otherwise, they [Toro Rosso] will replace me and I’ll lose my place.”

Vergne opened Toro Rosso’s 2013 account last time out in Malaysia, finishing 10th to score one point. If he can build on this performance, he could yet beat the likes of Nico Hulkenberg and Antonio Felix da Costa for the second seat at Red Bull in 2014.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)