Those pulling for Sebastien Bourdais will undoubtedly be disappointed by the latest reports emanating from the Formula One paddock. After winning the now-defunct Champ Car title four times in a row, the French driver switched to Formula One with Scuderia Toro Rosso last season, but while his team-mate Sebastian Vettel scored race wins, Bourdais never managed to do better than a couple of seventh-place finishes. Now, after his third early retirement this season at the German Grand Prix this past weekend, reports indicate that he's been given the axe.
Taking Bourdais' seat at STR for the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix will be Jamie Alguersuari, a Red Bull prodigy, recently promoted reserve/test driver for both Red Bull Racing and reigning champion in the British Formula 3 championship. Reports suggest that Alguersuari's promotion to the race seat serves as preparation for his full-time campaign next season and was fueled, so to speak, by a pending sponsorship deal with Spanish oil company Repsol, which supports Alguersuari's career. If the reports are confirmed and the 19-year-old racer starts the Hugarian GP for STR, he'll be the youngest ever to race in F1.
While the news undoubtedly comes as a disappointment for Bourdais and his fans, it surely disappoints another French multiple-champion as well. As rumors have escalated over the past few days about Bourdais' departure, five-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb publicly threw his hat into the ring to replace his countryman. Loeb previously tested an F1 car for sister team Red Bull Racing, and has long contemplated a switch of disciplines. But while Loeb's declaration infuriated Bourdais, but it looks like his move from WRC to F1 will have to wait a little longer.
[Source: Autosport | Image: Peter Fox/Getty]