Scuderia Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne & Williams F1's Dr Mark Gillan
France is in the F1 spotlight again! Three French drivers (Jean-Eric Vergne, Romain Grosjean and Charles Pic) will be racing in 2012; and there is talk, too, of a return of the French GP. At the forefront of the Renaissance, shoulder-to-shoulder with Grosjean, is the precociously-talented Vergne, a 21-year-old whose path to F1, backed by Red Bull from an early stage, has been straight and true: a successful karting career led to FRenault Campus, FRenault Eurocup, British F3 and, last year, World Series by Renault. Jean-Eric won that British F3 Championship in 2010 (driving for Trevor Carlin) and he finished runner-up in the 2011 WSR Championship, again racing for Carlin. After some late 2011 season Friday morning outings with Scuderia Toro Rosso and then a sparkling test for both STR and Red Bull Racing at Abu Dhabi, Jean-Eric (known by the diminutive "JEV") clinched the STR race drive for 2012. We spoke to him at STR's headquarters in Faenza, Italy. Also joining us on Episode 52 is the new Williams Chief Operations Engineer, Dr Mark Gillan. Highly-rated in the industry after successful careers at McLaren, Jaguar,Toyota and at the University of Surrey, where he was a Professor of Vehicle Engineering, Mark is a key part of the new face of WilliamsF1 - one that includes Mike Coughlin's style of engineering, Jason Somerville's aero department, Renault engines and Bruno Senna.
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