Jean-Éric Vergne believes that a lack of consistency has cost him a shot at the Red Bull seat for 2014 as the defending world champions turn their attention to his Toro Rosso teammate, Daniel Ricciardo.
Vergne has outscored Ricciardo so far this season, picking up thirteen points compared to the Australian’s eleven. Furthermore, Vergne has the best result of the two drivers during their eighteen months together as teammates in F1, with his sixth-place finish at the Canadian Grand Prix also being the team’s best result since Sebastian Vettel’s final race for Toro Rosso. However, a lack of consistency has, in Vergne’s eyes, been his downfall.
“Red Bull is the world champion team and it needs a driver who is going to score points at every race to win the title,” Vergne explained in an interview with L’Equipe. “If you look at the results this year, I’ve scored more points than Ricciardo, but he’s finished all the races, I haven’t.
“I have a label on my back. Even if it’s false, in the paddock Ricciardo is seen as consistent and I’m not.”
In 2013, Vergne has scored points on three occasions and retired four times, whereas Ricciardo has retired just twice. Despite the portrayed gulf between the two drivers in Vergne’s rejection, it is one of the closest inter-team battles on the grid. Vergne did concede that retiring from so many races fails to put him in a good light.
“The choice is complicated,” Vergne continued. “Horner isn’t the only one making the decision. Adrian Newey has a say, as does Dietrich Mateschitz and Helmut Marko.
“I understand the risks they take, hiring a young driver like Daniel or me. And seeing a driver who doesn’t finish half his races unsettles them.”
Red Bull are expected to make a decision in the coming weeks over their driver line-up for 2014.