Jean-Eric Vergne insists he has his “eyes open” to opportunities outside of formula one for 2015.
Now in his third campaign with the Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso, 24-year-old Frenchman Vergne will be moved over at the end of 2014 for the teen rookie Max Verstappen.
Dr Helmut Marko, the architect of the energy drink company’s prolific and yet controversial driver programme, is unapologetic.
“Vergne has had three years at Toro Rosso, four years before that in the junior team and every opportunity — everything a young driver needs,” the always-blunt Austrian told Speed Week.
“Now he must find a way independently after 2014,” Marko said. “We are not a pension fund.”
Two weeks ago at Spa-Francorchamps, Vergne insisted he still sees his future in F1.
But he is now quoted as saying: “I am working in the background on the continuation of my racing career and exploring all possibilities.
“I know drivers who were too fixed on formula one and in the end were left empty-handed, driving nothing.
“I’m not stupid. I keep my eyes open,” Vergne added. (GMM)