‘I can bet you anything on that’: Ex-F1 racer believes he could beat Verstappen on one condition

Max Verstappen's debut in Formula 1 came after Jean-Eric Vergne left Toro Rosso.

Jean-Eric Vergne has sensationally claimed that Max Verstappen wouldn’t be “unbeatable” in Formula E, as the French Formula E driver believes he’s “the best”.

Vergne has raced in Formula E since the all-electric series began; the Frenchman joined the series as a result of leaving Toro Rosso at the end of 2014.

The DS TECHEETAH driver raced for Toro Rosso from 2012-2014, before being replaced by the 2021 World Champion.

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Since leaving Formula 1, Vergne has gone on to have a successful career in Formula E.

The Frenchman is currently the only driver in the series to have won the championship twice, whilst also claiming ten victories along the way.

Vergne believes that he wouldn’t stand a chance against Verstappen in Formula 1, however, he fancies his chances in Formula E.

“I tell you what; if I raced in Formula 1 against him, I’m going be quite honest with you – I’m not going to beat him,” joked Vergne,

“[He is] clearly on the top of his game in Formula 1 and he could be unbeatable.

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“If he comes [to] Formula E, he’s not going to be unbeatable. I can bet you anything on that.

“I think I’m the best!”

A number of former Formula 1 drivers have gone off into Formula E, most recently Antonio Giovinazzi.

Having experienced both categories, Vergne stated that he “works a lot more” since being in the electric series.

“Sometimes you win races, [and] you don’t really know what you do well, and [sometimes] you don’t win races and you don’t really know what you do wrong,”

“I think the secret is to only focus on yourself and then try to really maximise your package, and it’s a lot of hard work. We spend a lot of time working with engineers in the factory, spending many days in the simulator.

“As a matter of fact, I work a lot more than [I did] in Formula 1, and I know that the drivers in Formula E, we spend a lot more time in the simulator than any other categories.”

At the recent Berlin E-Prix double-header, the Frenchman finished second and ninth at the Tempelhof airport circuit.

At the halfway point in the 2022 season, Vergne currently sits third in the drivers’ championship.

The current season marks the final year of the Gen 2 cars, which has seen lap-times and the quality of racing improve.

From 2023, Formula E will introduce the Gen 3 cars, which will not only be faster than the current model but also look drastically different.

“I think it’s a great step forward,” the Frenchman said.

“I wonder, though, how the racing is going to happen. It’s going to be a huge quantity of saving energy, so that’s going to be very interesting for us.

“It’s a new challenge, and I love a new challenge. With the team, we are already asking ourselves a lot of questions about how we’re going to do things.

“So it’s a very exciting time [with] this new car, and [it will have] a lot of power as well. It’s going to be great to drive, it’s going to be very fast, so that’s a good step forward.”

An issue Formula E has faced since its existence is the quality of racing; many in the past have referred to the series as “bumper cars”.

This year, the series introduced a new qualifying format, which Vergne thinks has been an attribute to the improvement of the racing this season.

“But already this year, with the change of qualifying format, I see less crashes.” continued Vergne,

“It’s a little bit cleaner racing, and I like this. For next year, I don’t know how it’s going to be, but I hope it’s going to be less ‘bumper [car]’.”

“We can’t stay behind [for] the whole race doing nothing,”