Vergne: Hartley call-up ‘makes me laugh’

Date published: March 30 2018

Ex-Formula 1 driver Jean-Eric Vergne has found it "rather amusing" that Red Bull decided to bring Brendon Hartley back to the sport with Toro Rosso.

The New Zealander was dropped from the Red Bull programme in 2010 but, after building his career with Porsche in the World Endurance Championship, he found himself on the grid at the United States Grand Prix last season.

The call-up has left Vergne feeling puzzled, given that he took over from Hartley at Renault in the World Series.

"It makes me laugh that Red Bull called on Hartley," Vergne said.

"Given that he's the one they fired to give me his seat in World Series by Renault. I find this rather amusing!"

Vergne lost his Formula 1 seat at Toro Rosso to Max Verstappen, and the Frenchman thinks, in hindsight, he could have reacted to the situation better.

"Looking back, I could have handled things differently," he admitted. "I went through a hard 12 months, looking at how I could turn things around.

"I changed a lot of things in the way I approach the sport. I was able to learn from everything that happened.

"Today I don't believe that I can be hurt in Formula E the way I was hurt in F1.

"Outside the car I can now see everything with a different eye. As a global driver that's much better."

Vergne is currently top in the Formula E World Championship standings, holding a 30-point lead after six races.

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