Jean-Eric Vergne has taken a big step forward after a good season in Formula Renault 2.0 during which he fought at the front in the WEC and Eurocup Championships. Next year, he will race in the highly-competitive British F3 Championship in Red Bull colours for well-known English team, Carlin Motorsport. This championship has always enjoyed a very special reputation in motor racing, and several of its winners like Jackie Stewart (1964), Ayrton Senna (1983) and Mika Haekkinen (1990) have gone on to triumph in the F1 world championship. It runs from April to September and there are around a dozen meetings on the calendar.

The British F3 Championship is a logical step forward in terms of performance in Vergne's career. The cars are powered by engines putting out around 210 bhp, and the chassis provides many setup possibilities enabling drivers and engineers to display their talents in these areas. Just what the doctor ordered for the young Frenchman! Three questions to Jean-Eric Next year, you'll be racing in the British F3 Championship.

Is this a big step forward?

JEV: "Yes. This championship is highly competitive and enjoys a great reputation in the motor racing milieu. F3 was my aim and it fits in with Red Bull's ambitions. Quite a few of the drivers in the Junior Team programme have followed the same path, and they've all benefitted greatly from it. In addition, I'm lucky to be driving for Carlin Motorsport, a very competitive team which doesn't need any further introduction, so I can't wait!"

Is it also a change of culture?

JEV: "Absolutely! It's very important for me to gain experience in a British milieu as up to now I've only known French teams. In 2010, I'm going to have to get to grips with a new category, learn new circuits and also learn a new way of working. I think that all these factors will make me a more complete driver."

What are your aims?

JEV: "To win, quite simply. I feel that with good preparation - which has already begun - and a competitive car, I'll be able to take the fight to the best right from the start. F3 is a turning point in a driver's career as it's where you can make a real impact. Jaime Alguersuari and Daniel Ricciardo, both Red Bull drivers, have won the title in this category in the past. Good things happen in threes as the saying goes, and I hope to prove this in 2010!"

-credit: jev