Jean-Eric Vergne believes that his charge to P6 at the Canadian Grand Prix has given Scuderia Toro Rosso a “shot of confidence” heading into the second half of the European season.
The French driver secured his best qualifying result (7th) before having a somewhat lonely race en route to 6th place, his best finish so far in the sport.
“This is an important result,” Vergne wrote in his blog. “It shows we are doing a good job, especially at the factory. It gives everybody in the team a shot of confidence and that includes me. So much so that on Sunday evening I was having a long chat with my engineer about the next race, in Silverstone. We have to keep the momentum and I’m looking forward to racing there again.”
Vergne is refusing to become complacent, encouraging the team to keep pushing forwards and aim for an even better result at the British Grand Prix.
“I was very pleased with the result in Canada. It’s my best F1 finish and it is nice to put more points on the board. Ultimately though, the points are not that important, it’s the fact that the performance was good that is important.
“Sixth place is a good result but we need to forget it now and look forward.”
An added incentive for Vergne will be the possibility of joining Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next season, with Mark Webber poised to leave the team in the wake of the multi 21 fiasco.
Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott will start the 64th Macau Grand Prix from pole position after beating his Formula 3 rivals to victory in Saturday’s qualification race.
Ilott, 19, started third on the grid on Saturday behind pole-sitter Joel Eriksson and McLaren junior Lando Norris, but made a good start to rise to second early on.
Ilott hounded Eriksson for position for much of the race before battling past at Mandarin on Lap 7 as his Swedish rival struggled to keep his tires alive.
With Eriksson unable to respond, Ilott ultimately crossed the line more than seven seconds clear to take his first Macau win and secure pole for Sunday’s main event.
“We started quite strong as I got up to second from third which was not too bad. Then in the middle part of the race I had a good pace and I got past Joel for P1,” Ilott said.
“After that I managed to pull away. It was a good race, even quite relaxing at the end. I’m really happy for the result. Thank you SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, they did a great job and it should be good for tomorrow too.”
Eriksson held on to second ahead of Sergio Sette Camara, who completed the podium ahead of Maximilian Günther in P4.
Ferdinand Habsburg finished fifth ahead of Pedro Piquet, while Norris was left to settle for a lowly P7 after a clutch issue off the line caused him to drop down the order.
You can see full results from the Macau F3 qualifying race here.