Toro Rosso

From simulators to the real deal

 | JEV's blog

JEV Canada car.jpg © Getty Images for Toro Rosso

If Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne was expecting a little peace and quiet after Monaco, he can guess again as he arrives in French-speaking Canada.

It’s great to be back in Montreal for a race that ranks among my
favourite grands prix. Last year I had the chance to spend a bit of
time here prior to the race and enjoy the amazing countryside but this
time it hasn’t been possible and I’ve been pretty much flat out busy
since I arrived.

Because I’m French there’s a lot of demand for me to do interviews and
appearances in francophone Quebec and this week has been no exception,
although sometimes the questions from the local media people, who
aren’t experts on F1, are quite funny.

Today, for example, one guy
asked me how we would cope with the experimental tyres we have here if
the rain that is forecast for Friday arrives. I had to point out that
in that event we’d naturally be using rain tyres…

The busy schedule started early this morning. I had to go to the École
Polytechnique de Montréal first thing to talk to the students and
media. The main part of my job there was to help with the FIA’s Action
for Road Safety campaign by having a go on a driving simulator to
demonstrate what happens when you don’t properly obey the rules of the
road.

Naturally the result is a crash. It was quite good and made a
relevant point, that everyone needs to pay attention when they’re
driving and obey the rules.

 

null© Getty Images for Toro Rosso
   

The students I met at the Polytechnic are all involved in car design
and they showed me around some of the projects they’ve been working on,
including the solar-powered car they’re taking to a competition in
Australia next month.

They asked me to sign the car, which was nice
and I hope they have good luck when they head Down Under.

It was a bit of rush to get back to the track after that as I had
another FIA duty to fulfil, appearing in the Thursday drivers’ press
conference.

We made it though and got through a reasonably short Q&A
session. One of the questions asked was to nominate my best memory of
the race here.

After qualifying 20th and finishing 15th last year, as
well as getting a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane
due to a problem with the limiter, I could only say that the holiday
here last year is my best memory so far!

Naturally, I’ll be looking to change that this year. It’s certainly
possible. The car is coming together now, getting better race by race
and after Monaco I’m hopeful of transferring that form to this track.

However, it’s a completely different circuit and whereas Monaco was
low speed, high downforce, it’s the opposite here.

It’s a great track though, a real race circuit and one I enjoy a lot. The walls are close, there isn’t a lot of margin for error and it’s an
exciting lap with those long straights into hard-braking corners.

In the meantime, there’s Montreal to enjoy. I’m staying at a hotel on
Rue de la Montagne, downtown, where all the F1-related action is. They
close the streets here for race weekend and put on concerts and street
parties.

The people here get really into F1, which is fantastic, and
it’s entertaining just to look out the window of my room every
evening. Unfortunately it’s about as close to a party as I’ll get
before Sunday but hopefully after the race the team and I will have
something to celebrate as well.

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