Jean-Eric Vergne will be leaving Marina Bay with his head held high today after equalling his best-ever finish in Formula 1 in the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Toro Rosso driver is currently without a seat for 2015 after being told last month that he would be replaced by 16-year-old Max Verstappen at the team, but he did his chances of securing a drive a world of good by finishing sixth under the lights in Singapore.
Starting 11th, Vergne did well to fight his way up into the top ten at the start of the race, and looked set for points until a lengthy safety car period allowed the cars around him to stop for fresh tires. Vergne was left on super-softs, and unlike his rivals, had to make one more pit stop once the race restarted.
He eventually pitted with 14 laps to go, dropping down to 14th place behind the Caterham of Marcus Ericsson. However, with fresh tires, and with the cars ahead struggling for grip in the dying stages of the race, Vergne managed to move back up into the points.
The stewards soon gave him another setback, handing the Frenchman a five-second stop/go penalty for exceeding track limits. He made his feelings clear over the radio, crying: “What the f***!” before getting his head down and focusing on the race.
In a great final scrap for position in the last few laps, Vergne passed Nico Hulkenberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas to move up to sixth place. On the final lap of the race, he then created enough of a gap to make his five-second stop/go penalty redundant, thus equalling his best ever finish in F1 from the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix.
Given his position for 2015, this result could not have come at a better time for Jean-Eric Vergne. If he can continue to impress and pick up some more hauls of points, the Frenchman could be in line for a place on the grid in Australia next March.
In the sister Toro Rosso, Daniil Kvyat limped home in 14th position after becoming severely dehydrated towards the end of the race.