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Mat Coch writes:
It's been a difficult debut season for Jean-Eric Vergne, who has often struggled to find pace during qualifying. The Frenchman has been out-performed by teammate Daniel Ricciardo nine times in the first ten Saturdays of the year, a fact Vergne is only all too aware of.
"Qualifying is the most difficult thing because of the less track time you have under this circumstance. Traffic, pressure, one lap, low fuel, you never have this except in qualifying," said Vergne.
"I have the speed because in the race it is always going well, in practice as well," he continued. "I'm working on in, definitely. Germany was much better, I was much closer to Ricciardo but losing two tenths in the last corner didn't really help me - that was the two tenths slower at the end of the lap.
Vergne has been stronger in the races, matching the slightly more experienced Ricciardo while also outscoring the Australian. In Malaysia the 22-year-old snared four points for eighth place, beating the two points Ricciardo managed in Melbourne.
Toro Rosso has endured a difficult season, prompting speculation over the team's future; while its drivers remain unsure whether they'll continue with the squad next year. "It's way too early in the season to focus on this," admitted Vergne, echoing statements made last week by teammate Ricciardo.
"I'm a rookie," he added, "I've plenty to learn. I'm not at my best. I'm improving weekend after weekend and to be honest my only focus is on this race on Sunday and then the next one in Spa."
Vergne has fond memories of the Hungaroring, having enjoyed success at the circuit in junior categories, though the last time he raced here was 2007. "In World Series I think I won two races, in Formula Renault, I also won by miles," he smiled. "I don't think I'm going to win by miles this race!"
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