Saturday 17 January at 09:35 :
Jan.17 (GMM) Jean-Eric Vergne is determined to remain one of the world's top racing drivers.
After three years at Red Bull's junior F1 team Toro Rosso, the 24-year-old was dropped but he has kept his dream alive with a simulator role at the sport's fabled team, Ferrari.
"I still have a future in formula one," the Frenchman, who has already started work at Maranello, told Auto Hebdo.
"This year I will obtain an interesting technical expertise, which is of course different to what I learned at the wheel of the grands prix.
"I do not want to talk about 2016 and the possibility of taking the place of a main driver again, because now my goal is to make a modest contribution to helping Ferrari to succeed again," he said.
Vergne is also keeping his racing instincts sharp in Formula E, and he is not ruling out also entering the increasingly popular and influential world endurance championship.
"Endurance is an interesting championship," he said. "The LMP1 class is not far from formula one and racing on the track of course will not hurt me.
"Let's just say that there are options in LMP1 and the opportunity to continue in Formula E," said Vergne.
He said he is enjoying Formula E, even though the all-electric cars are not on the same performance level as the Toro Rossos he is now accustomed to.
"It is quite heavy," he said of the Formula E car, "but this is just the first year so I think the car will be actively developed in the near future.
"You need to be working in particular to save energy, but on the whole the situation in the cockpit is much less than in formula one," admitted Vergne.
"It is very different, but it is still a car with four wheels and a steering wheel, which is the most important thing.
"For three years I had a car that would not let me fight even for the top ten in qualifying, even if I drove the perfect lap. Not to mention that in 2014 I was 10 kilograms heavier than the minimum weight.
"I must admit that I was pleased to get back at the wheel of a car that is no different from the rest and possible to fight for the top positions," added Vergne.