Ferrari splits with reserve Vergne

Feb.22 (GMM) Jean-Eric Vergne has confirmed that he will no longer work with Ferrari in 2017.

Earlier, the former Toro Rosso driver was Ferrari’s reserve driver, but that role has been filled for this year by GP2 runner-up and Italian Antonio Giovinazzi.

“It was clear from the beginning that I would not continue as reserve this season,” Frenchman Vergne is quoted by the Italian publication Autosprint.

Vergne, 26, is now focusing on Formula E and admits he is keen to race at Le Mans this year too.

As for Ferrari, he added: “I still have many contacts with Ferrari and good relationships, but I will not go to the races or have the role that I had before.”

In other reserve driver news, Williams has re-signed Paul di Resta for 2017, while Renault confirmed speculation that Russian Sergey Sirotkin is stepping up to the role of official reserve this year.

Sirotkin is the centrepiece of the Russian bank SMP’s involvement in F1, and the 21-year-old told Sportbox: “Part of my programme will be driving in Friday practice.

“I don’t think it will surprise anyone that my goal is to get a place as main (race) driver by 2018,” Sirotkin added.

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