French driver Jean-Eric Vergne has said that his rookie season in Formula One was a relative success.
Vergne finished in 17th in the championship although feels that he could have done a little better.
“I had four eighth places during the year and scored 16 points. For my first year in Formula One, and given that we didn’t have the best car in the world, I don’t feel too bad about that record,” he said.
“For sure, it could have been better and I certainly expect better of myself next year, but all in all I’d mark it down as a successful first season.”
Vergne added that his début season was more about learning about the sport than amassing points.
“Ultimately, I think this year was all about learning and the points are not the most significant thing. The important thing for me is that I think I have learned a hell of a lot about Formula One this year.”
“First, there’s obviously the whole process of driving the car, learning how to work properly with the team and learning how to race in F1, all of that has been a massive learning curve and at times it has been pretty hard, especially when the results weren’t coming and we seemed to be going backwards.”
“But that’s where the second lesson comes into play. At the end of my first season I think I’ve learned a lot about being a Formula One driver out of the car as well as in it. Driving the car is obviously the sharp end of what we do and the most crucial part of the job, but it wouldn’t work if, as a driver, you didn’t learn how to work with your engineers, if you didn’t learn how to process all the information you get given and help everyone in the team arrive at the best solution for the circumstances you’re in.”
Vergne is hoping to show a greater competitiveness in 2013.
“All I want now over the winter is to put all I’ve learned together and arrive back next year with, hopefully, a better car, more experience, more skill and hopefully I’ll have an even better experience next year.”