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Dusting himself off | Jean-Eric Vergne blog

Vergne reflective © Getty Images/ Mark Thompson

He may have emerged unscathed but Jean-Eric Vergne's crash at the Italian Grand Prix was a big shock for the French F1 ace. He explains what happened in his latest blog post.

No driver likes to end a race the way I did in Monza. It was certainly a big shock for me when the car went out of control as it did on the run down to Rettifilo and the accident was quite a big one.

However, modern Formula One cars are incredibly tough machines. It’s a testament to how they’re built that I was able to get out of the car fairly quickly after it happened with only a few bruises and a bit of back and neck pain.

As for the crash itself, I felt something wasn't quite right from the start. I was struggling with it quite early on and it just felt strange. In those circumstances, you try to let the team know what’s happening and then you just get on with it. You’re racing and you need to make the best of the situation.

As I said, when I had the suspension problem it was a big shock. I entered the braking phase for the corner and totally lost it. The car just snapped out from underneath me. I could feel the rear wheel was the wrong way under braking and from that point on I was pretty much a passenger.

The kerbs are quite high at Monza, so when the car hit the kerb I was thrown in the air. I was a little worried that the car might flip, so the fact that it didn’t is something to be grateful for. It could have been a lot worse than it was.

"When I had the suspension problem it was a big shock"

Having said that, it was still quite a big impact and it took me a minute to get myself together once the car had stopped. I felt a bit of pain, so I stayed where I was for a few moments, just to get everything straight in my head, but then I felt okay and climbed out. I went with the medical car and that was the end of my Italian Grand Prix.

After the race, we established it had been a failure with the rear suspension. In the end you just have to put it down as one of those things that happen when you go racing. I do feel pretty stiff across my back and neck but I think that will go away over the next day or so and I’ll get on with what is going to be a pretty busy schedule until Singapore.

It’s a shame that it happened. It’s easy to say this after the fact, but I do think we could have had a pretty good race in Monza. 

null© Getty Images/ Andrew Hone

We had been steadily improving the car all weekend and in qualifying it felt good. Also, in the race Daniel showed we had good pace and he was looking good to score points before he had his own problem right at the end.

I was on a different strategy, working towards a two-stop race, and I think that could have worked out quite well at the end. Nico Rosberg went for a similar type of race and he had really good pace at the end, so I might have been in the points if I had been able to finish.

It’s unfortunate that we left Monza without scoring as it would have been great to finish well in front of the team’s home crowd, but these things happen. Because of the good feeling I had with the car in Spa and up until the race in Monza, I don’t think there are any alarms going off at the moment. The upgrades we’ve done are working out, the pace is improving, and the team is really working well at the moment. So there’s actually a lot to be pleased about.

I’ve had a pretty busy time since Monza, so I’ll be trying to grab as much rest as I can in between the work to shake off any residual effects of the accident.

"Because of the good feeling I had with the car in Spa and up until the race in Monza, I don’t think there are any alarms going off at the moment"

First I was in Magny Cours with Red Bull France for an event, driving a three-seater car, and then I headed back to Paris where I was helping launch a cookbook with Pirelli. That was interesting! Now I go to Poland to do a showcar run for Red Bull Racing and then I’ll be back at Milton Keynes preparing for the Singapore race with some simulator work. It’s a pretty intense week.

I’m flying to Singapore next Tuesday. I guess you could say it’s a bit of a trip into the unknown for me. The night-race schedule will probably take a bit of getting used to in terms of sleeping at the right times and the track itself will be new to me, so that too will be a challenge.

I’m looking forward to it though. We have plenty of racing left ahead of us this season, I’m enjoying my time in the car and as a team we are going in the right direction. At the moment that’s all I can ask for.

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