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GP Week : Issue 184
Jean-eric Vergne has given Helmut Marko a welcome headache in terms of managing the Red Bull driver shuffle with a commanding sixth place in Canada, finishing behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. Vergne was in brilliant form all weekend after running in the top three for much of FP1 and setting up a superb signature wet weather qualifying effort to start from seventh on the grid. Only Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes drivers finished ahead of Vergne, casting an even brighter light on an already impressive display, one which – despite being undramatic – marked the Frenchman’s steely determination to redress the balance sheet at Toro Rosso. Before the race, Vergne was focussed on the job at hand, realising an opportunity to regain lost ground on his teammate Ricciardo was going begging. “We still have the main part of the job to do tomorrow, when I will be trying to at the very least maintain this position and even do better.” Jean-Eric said on Saturday. “I'm a racing driver so I always want to go for ward. It will be a difficult afternoon in very different conditions, but our long run pace was good yesterday so that's a reason to be optimistic.” With the top five places changing up front (with the exception of race winner Vettel), Vergne’s eventual sixth place went unchallenged for the duration, mirroring that of race-winner Sebastian Vettel. Not only did Vergne better teammate Ricciardo’s much lauded seventh place in China, but his Canadian performance put Daniel well and truly in the shade. The Australian racer finished in 15th place after a pit lane infringement saw him relegated to 11th on the grid after qualifying. With Helmut Marko himself suggesting that Ricciardo would be the most obvious choice for a potential replacement for Mark Webber at Red Bull next year, Vergne’s back-to back performances post Monaco will be cause for re-evaluation. If the edge has not yet been tipped in JEV’s favour then it’s most certainly back at square one. Vergne raises the bar 32 GPWEEK.com // 32 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> CANADA F1 >>> CAnADA