Max Verstappen may be one of the toughest drivers to beat in F1, but Jean-Eric Vergne has challenged the Red Bull star to try and maintain that same level of dominance in Formula E. Ever since Verstappen arrived in F1 as a teenager, he was being tipped to become a multiple world champion.
Mercedes’ dominance in the sport made it difficult for the Dutchman to win his first title, but that all changed last year after a tense battle with Lewis Hamilton went down to the wire. Verstappen’s talents have been clear from his first day in the sport with his team-mates struggling to match his performances. Both Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon were quickly moved on by Red Bull with Verstappen far out in front of the pair of them. Sergio Perez has now been tasked with driving alongside Verstappen and the Mexican has similarly been unable to challenge Verstappen on a regular basis.
Verstappen’s first seat in F1 came in 2015 with Toro Rosso, replacing Vergne who was unable to secure a seat that season. Vergne ended up making the move into Formula E and has won two titles in the racing series. The Frenchman accepts that he still wouldn’t be able to compete with Verstappen in an F1 car. But Vergne feels it would be a different story entirely if Verstappen made the switch for Formula E. “If I race against him in Formula 1, I have to be honest – I’m not going to beat him,” Vergne said.
“He is clearly at the highest level in Formula 1. If he comes to Formula E, he is not unbeatable.” He added: “Sometimes you win, but you don’t actually know exactly what goes right. “Also, sometimes you don’t win races and you don’t really know what went wrong.
“The secret is to focus on yourself and get the most out of the package. It’s very hard work. We spend a lot of time with the engineers in the factory and many, many days in the simulator. I work much more often than I did in Formula 1 and I know Formula E drivers spend much more time in the simulator than other racing classes.”