Jean-Eric Vergne believes Gene Haas F1 list is down to 3 names; hopes he’s one of them

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Even though team owner Gene Haas said the number of potential drivers on the list for his new two-driver/car Formula One team is five, Ferrari test driver Jean-Eric Vergne told Motorsport.com that he believes the real number is three – and believes he could be on that short list.

That, despite the fact Vergne is already signed to run in the upcoming season for DS Virgin in the Formula E Series.

Vergne, 25, believes his main competition for the two seats on Haas’ F1 team are fellow Ferrari reserve Esteban Gutierrez, and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who is believed to be at the top of Haas’ wish list.

“There are three of us, for two seats,” Vergne toldMotorsport.com. “Let’s say there is a rather good chance for me to end up with Haas.

“Then, as far as Formula E is concerned, that’s too early to talk about it. If F1 comes, there will be two clashes. It’s way too early to say how that will go. I hope to have that kind of problem to sort out, that would be a good one to have.

“But today, I am focused on Formula E, and very much as well on my work with Ferrari, which of course pays off to land in the Haas team.”

The French native believes his affiliation with Ferrari and his former ties with Toro Rosso put him high on Haas’ list – even though the team owner has not indicated who is a favorite at this point.

“I think this is an advantage,” he said. “Also, because I have worked with a very big team at Red Bull, at a time they were winning absolutely everything. I was a reserve driver and a simulator driver. I learned a huge lot with them.

“Then came three years with Toro Rosso, where I proved a lot behind the steering wheel. I can’t ignore my performances compared to [Daniel] Ricciardo: I beat him in year one. Year two, it was really tight, and today he wins Grands Prix.

“At Ferrari, I keep learning about a new philosophy, in the biggest team of all time. That’s a new work philosophy and I keep on learning a lot about the car’s technicalities.

“Of course, that plays an important role when it comes to Haas. Getting out of the F1 grid but staying in such a team as Ferrari and working all weekends on the simulator – knowing all the set-up changes, everything that goes on and following it first hand from the factory … plus I’m racing [in Formula E] – that sure doesn’t take anything away.”

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Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, points

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

POINTS: Standings after Rolex 24 at Daytona l Michelin Endurance Cup standings l Daytona endurance points

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.