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GP Week : Issue 185
GPWeeK: First off, I’m really pleased we’ve got this weekend to talk to you. When I requested the interview earlier this season, who would have thought you’d be coming off two really strong races, the possibility of a seat at Red Bull with Mark leaving... What’s it been like for you for the last week or so in terms of pressure? JEAN-ERIC VERGNE: It’s been pretty normal, I would say. I really try to close my ears [to all that], so for me nothing has changed. Okay, Mark is leaving, and there’s a chance Kimi will come to Red Bull next year, but that’s not going to change my life right now and I’m not going to change my approach for the weekend at all. So right now I’m thinking about this race in Silverstone, and then the next race in Germany. Next year is still a long way away. so the fact that there’s definitely a Red Bull seat vacant for the first time won’t change your approach? You’re just going to keep pushing? Absolutely. I’m going to keep pushing, keep doing the same thing. I don’t have any extra pressure. Nothing changes for me. We’ve seen some really strong performances from you in the last couple of races. Are you feeling comfortable with the car? Have you hit a sweet spot? Do you have an explanation? I’ve not changed anything since the beginning of the season. I worked like hell over the winter to improve myself in every different aspect that I thought wasn’t good last year. From the beginning of the seasonIdidnotdoabadjob,Ijusthada lot of bad luck in many races – in Australia I should have been in Q3 easily, but it was the wrong choice of tyres. Nothing special has happened, and I really haven’t changed anything. It’s just that everything has come together, and I’ve had no bad luck. I feel like the same driver, just a little bit more confident. I’m still improving, still increasing my performance. It’s an upward trajectory. How do you go about making improvements? The team will say ‘you need get better over a single lap’, or ‘you need to improve in slow corners’. Do you spend more time in the simulator? Is it a physical fitness thing? A mental thing? I have a special approach. I try to really define who are the key people around me, and I have discussions with those people. I want them to tell me exactly what they think, and I don’t want them to tell me I’m good. So those key people always tell me the bad things about me, and I think that’s what helps me going for ward. It probably keeps your feet on the ground, too. Keeps you normal. As well, it keeps me normal. So that’s two good things! One of the things we hear about all the time in Formula One is Helmut Marko and his influence at Red Bull. Do you have a good relationship with Dr Marko, or is he just the man in the garage? We have a really good relationship. He’s been a key man in my career; he’s the one who picked me to join the Red Bull programme, so he’s very important to me. And is he one of the people who tells you where you need to improve, or is it not that kind of working relationship? He always tells me where I need to improve. I don’t care about the people who always just say ‘it’s good, you did a good job’. I can’t learn from that. so what circuits are you looking forward to for the rest of the season? everyone has certain types of tracks they prefer. Have you got any favourites coming up on the calendar? Not especially, but probably Spa. continued next page ... 5 MINuTEs WITH JEAN-ERIC VERGNE On the eve of the weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, KATe WALKeR chatted to one of the contenders for the 2013 Red Bull seat alongside sebastian Vettel 5 MINUTES 17 GPWEEK.com // 17 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: