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Jean-Éric Vergne - he speaks! - The Toro Rosso duo open up over a game of Jenga

Published by Christine

Jean-Éric Vergne surveys the Jenga tower
Vergne's tower of strengthCredit: Peter Fox/Getty Images

Toro Rosso often have anonymous race weekends, but recently they've been coming into their own as they both get put in the frame for the spare Red Bull seat. We've heard a lot from Daniel Ricciardo since his entrance into Formula One - with his winning smile, and über friendliness - but teammate Jean-Éric Vergne has been a lot quieter.

Recently the pair took part Sky F1's giant Jenga game - called Horse Power Tower, for some unknown reason - and finally we saw a bit of Vergne's personality creeping out. He won the game, after Ricciardo made a very dodgy call early on and selected a block that was only ever going to bring the whole thing toppling down. (Coincidentally, the crash came just as Johnny Herbert was asking him about the 'i' in Ricciardo. I find a good Jenga crash often detracts from a question you don't want to answer!)

The blocks come tumbling down on Ricciardo
Ricciardo falls to piecesCredit: Peter Fox/Getty Images

With the game over so quickly, there was time for a brief chat, and at this point we learnt that Daniel has a very good memory, whilst Jean-Éric is a man after my own heart.

[Interior: Toro Rosso motorhome]

Johnny: Do you like Germany? Do you like Nürburgring?

Daniel: Yea, Nüburgring is a good track. Obviously it alternates each year with Hockenheim but I probably prefer Nüburgring.

Johnny: Jean-Éric?

JEV: I don't remember actually, I raced only once in Formula Renault and that was a long time ago in 2008.

Johnny: And how did you do there?

JEV: I can't remember. *laughs*

Johnny: Here's a driver with a long memory!

Daniel: World Series! World Series it would have been.

JEV: Ah yea, sorry, I raced in the World Series.

Daniel: You crashed I think.

JEV: Yea, I crashed.

Daniel: Into pit wall.

JEV: Yea.


At least he has an excuse for not remembering, having ended the race embedded in a wall! Further research tells us that Vergne was correct that he appeared at the Nürburgring in 2008, racing in the Formula Renault series, but Ricciardo remembered him being there later - the World Series event which JEV crashed out of was in 2011.

After having his memory set straight, Vergne decided to challenge Johnny on what was left of the Jenga tower, making up his own rules as he went along. And they ended with a big hug. Aww, we have a new set of best friends in the paddock, and I have a new Frenchman to support.

Gooo Jev!