Jean-Eric Vergne says he respects the Haas Formula 1 team’s decision to turn him down for a seat in its first year of Grand Prix competition.
After losing his Toro Rosso drive at the end of 2014, Vergne joined Ferrari, whose ties to Haas are well documented, as test driver, prompting speculation he could be considered for a 2016 race seat at the American outfit.
But the Frenchman’s hopes of an F1 reprieve were dashed when Romain Grosjean and fellow Ferrari tester Esteban Gutierrez were chosen to form Haas’ line-up.
Despite being passed over, Vergne said he remained committed to Ferrari - and didn't rule out a Grand Prix return at some stage in the future.
“Obviously as a racing driver you want to be racing at the top, and F1 is where the top is, but I respect the decision,” Vergne told Motorsport.com.
“[Haas] are doing things very professionally and I hope the best for them. I'm sure they can have a good car and I wish the best for the two drivers.
“Things happen for a reason and hopefully something good will happen, you never know.
“My focus is on Ferrari, and wherever my position is I will give my best to them and help them in any way I can, so we will see in the future.”
Tough season in Formula E
Vergne currently combines his Ferrari commitments with a seat at the DS Virgin Formula E team, but admits his first full campaign in the all-electric series has been tougher than expected so far.
“I think the choice to go to DS was well-thought, as being with a French manufacturer is something important to me,” said the 25-year-old.
“It has been quite clearly more difficult [than season one], especially as I didn't score any points [in the first two races], so that's not where we wanted to be.”
Interview by Federico Faturos