Mar.1 (PVM) Rookie Jean Eric Vergne remembers every single moment of the day that he was called and told he had been promoted to to race driver at Toro Rosso for the 2012 season, admitting it was a “shock promotion.”
Speaking to the official F1 website, Vergne said, “Helmut [Marko] called me on the morning of December 14. What a wake-up call! “Shock promotion” is a good way to put it. And of course it was the best day of my professional life so far. I remember every single detail of that day.”
“I knew that they were evaluating the data of the current drivers and, of course, you always hope that a situation might arise where suddenly you are in the picture. And voila, it happened – the best phone call I’ve ever received.”
“I had that one day to really understand what had just happened because the next day I was already at the Red Bull Racing factory to work with the simulator.”
“Believe me, I have been prepared quite well so far as a Red Bull youngster. I was connected to F1 well before the past two weeks, so the level of surprise level has not been that high.”
“What is definitely a difference is that (in the past) I have been with a team with 40 people in total.
“Now around 60 people are working just for me on a race weekend, so that is indeed way above what I knew. But as the objective is to be fast, these are all fantastic aspects of Formula 1.”
Vergne – known as Jev to his mates – is quick to dismiss talk of promotion to the Red Bull senior team, “That is dream[ing] of the future. Right now I want to do my job at Toro Rosso – learn as much as possible and show them that I was promoted for a reason.
“And I haven’t done a race yet so it does not make much sense to think about 2013. First things first, and the first thing right now is doing a good test season and then taking that to the Melbourne grid. And then to take it race by race.”