‘If Alonso is the best, come and try to beat us’

Henry Valantine
Jean-Eric Vergne, Fernando Alonso

Jean-Eric Vergne says Fernando Alonso should try Formula E

Jean-Eric Vergne has called for Fernando Alonso to race in Formula E, to prove he can live up to his tag as one of the world’s best drivers by winning in equal machinery.

The Frenchman, who celebrates his 31st birthday on Sunday, drove for Toro Rosso in Formula 1 for three seasons before moving to the electric championship in time for its inaugural outing in 2014.

He has since become a two-time champion in the category and hopes to add to his trophy cabinet by winning at Le Mans in the future.

Alonso took a sabbatical from F1 and gained five victories from eight races in the World Endurance Championship, winning the Le Mans 24-Hour race and taking part in the Dakar Rally, as well as the Indy 500.

Vergne would like to see the double F1 World Champion try his hand against the Formula E grid on a level playing field though.

“I was at Le Mans two years ago with Fernando Alonso,” Vergne told Mundo Deportivo. “In Formula E, everyone has the same car and the same chances to win. If you think you are the best you should come to Formula E and try to beat us.

“Fernando has achieved incredible things in his life in our sport and if he wanted to come to Formula E, it would be fantastic for everyone.”

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In Formula E this weekend, the first Valencia E-Prix finished in dramatic circumstances on Saturday as the majority of drivers ran out of battery power on the final lap, with a six-minute final lap seeing Vergne crawl home in ninth place. Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries took the win in the end – and George Russell believes De Vries could become an F1 driver in the coming years.

Vergne is pragmatic about his stint in F1, believing he “failed” in his time on the grid before moving to Formula E. He is happy to be able to fight for titles in his current seat though, against a high-class field in FE.

“In your life, you always want to be successful,” Vergne added. “A lot of drivers can be title contenders. Of course, everyone dreams of being a Formula 1 World Champion, but there are more things beyond Formula 1.

“You can be a champion in other very competitive categories like rallying, Formula E, karting, and for me the important thing is to fight for titles. And in my case, my wish is to have more than one title, and more than two, and I love to enter the history books of my sport.

“I was in Formula 1 and I think I failed there, and after that I had a second chance to change that in the same sport but in a different category. And that’s what I did.”

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