Apr 1, 2013, 5:30 PM EDT
With just one point from the opening two rounds of the 2013 Formula 1 season, Scuderia Toro Rosso hasn’t yet jumped to the head of the midfield.
It’s that motivation, rather than simply beating teammate Daniel Ricciardo, that is fueling STR sophomore Jean-Eric Vergne.
“The [intra-team] fight isn’t enough for me; I want better performances,” Vergne told Autosport. “[In Australia] I was in front of Daniel after qualifying, but I was really pissed off and sad that I didn’t make it through into Q3.”
The Frenchman scored more points than Ricciardo a year ago but was woefully outperformed in qualifying, 16-4 in 20 races. The talk since the two were paired from the start of 2012 has been of the intra-team battle to see who could be worthy of a seat at Red Bull if Mark Webber departs.
In the wake of the Malaysian Grand Prix Red Bull team orders controversy, the added pressure to qualify higher up the grid has intensified down for Red Bull’s junior squad.
“If we have the worst car though and always finish 17th or 18th every weekend I will not be happy at all,” added Vergne.