• Jul 15th 2009 at 9:00AM
  • 24
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]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      No big loss... With a few new teams joining the fold next year (potentially) maybe these loose stars will get a seat after all.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just a little thing, his name is Jaime not Jamie.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Vettel won in that garbage car and out performed Bourdais week in week out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Garbage. Vettel was lucky. It was a rain soaked race and the weather played a huge part.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "But while Loeb's declaration infuriated Bourdais, but it looks like his move from WRC to F1 will have to wait a little longer."


      Also, Piquet may get ousted - he was supposed to have 40% of the points Alonso has by now (Alonso has 13, so he should have 5) - he currently has 0. There are talks of their test driver Romain Grosjean taking his seat.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Are you blind? He took the racing line. Kimmi came around the outside and hit him. Stewards called it a racing incident, and likely only because Kimmi was already out of the race. Even he said it wasn't Sutil's fault.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think Sutil can drive and has just had some very bad luck. But in the two clashes he's had with Raikkonen, they each can take the blame for one incident a piece. Yes the incident in Monaco was Kimi's fault but this last one in Germany was Sutil's.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Either driver could have avoided it, but the driver with the racing line always has right of way. Sutil was ahead coming into the corner, Kimmi just made a bad pass. You could see it either way I suppose, and that's likely why it's called a racing incident. Sutil couldn't have given him more room on the inside because he needed the full line to make the corner on the new tires. Kimmi was behind and just want to overtake and failed. So, I can see both sides of it I suppose.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sutil does a lot with that car - I think he's got some really great potential and I know other teams are watching him. He's just gotta stop getting taken out by Raikkonen :p
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Shame, really.

      But, Vettel won only one race while in Torro Rosso, in Monza, where Bourdais had competitive pace but his race and qualifying were rather screwed by factors outside his reach. By that time in the 2008 season, the team lined up behind Vettel anyway.
        • 6 Years Ago
        .....gosh, that was supposed to come up as HOW could they
        • 6 Years Ago
        They need Loeb. Nao.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wait, the new driver is not called Sebastian??? How come, after Vettel, Buemi and Bourdais... who could they....
      • 6 Years Ago
      Everyone loves to blame the driver. As if the driver is responsible for managing the team, engineering of the car and planning of race strategy. Case in point, how many drivers have Toro Rosso gone through? and how much success have they had?

      The current Toro Rosso chassis isn't much different from Red Bull. It was designed by the same guy. Why the difference in performance? The driver is obviously only a small part of the equation.

      Another example. When Scott Speed was let go, his record was much better than that of Luizi (sp?), the other driver. Berger may have been a great driver, but great drivers don't always make the transition to make great team principals.

      Bourdais is quick and plenty competent. One only has to look at his record in Indy and most recently at LeMans. It's not the driver folks. The only thing I could fault him for is perhaps he was so eager to get into F1 that he simple jumped on with the first team that offered him a seat, then found himself with the wrong team at the wrong time.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How little you two know of F1. The driver isn't solely responsible for setup. The driver gives feedback to the engineers (i.e. it's over/under-steering at turn x). The team engineers then take that feedback, look at data and determine what course of action to take on setup. It's a complex issue and can't be pinned solely on the driver. Getting rid of the driver will only give investors the impression that the team is doing something. It won't make the car itself more competitive. There are other factors to blame.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Tuna - 'The current Toro Rosso chassis isn't much different from Red Bull. It was designed by the same guy. Why the difference in performance? The driver is obviously only a small part of the equation.'

        Surely if the car is so similar, then the driver is a BIG part of the equation. That is how Vettel, in last year's Torro Rosso, was often able to run closely to Webber and Coulthard, because the cars were similar, as were the talents of the drivers.

        Torro Rosso go through so many drivers because there main aim is to give younger drivers an opportunity in F1. Vettel proved himself, Speed did not, Buemi may go on to prove his talent, Bordais has not. Its that simple
        • 6 Years Ago
        I know plenty about formula 1 thanks very much, perhaps you have overlooked the fact that those same engineers who are 'failing' Bourdais guided Vettel to a victory last year.

        I also do not believe that you know enough about Formula 1 to simply blame the engineers for his form. Perhaps if you knew more, then you would realize that these engineers are hired and fired almost as frequently as the drivers, it just isn't publicised as much when it happens.

        While you are right that it cant all be pinned on the driver, the driver has a big, yet simple responsibility, and that is, at the very least, to beat his teamate, which he hasn't done frequently enough. The enginneers cannont stop him from crashing i.e Silverstone.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I haven't spent a lot of time looking at either the STR or RB cars from a technical perspective this season. But a couple of items are noteworthy IMHO. This is the last season in which someone like Adrian Newey will be allowed to design one car and give it to 2 sibling teams. ie.e tye basic cars being run in the series this year has a near identical platform (from RB Technologies), changing when the disparate powertrains need to be fitted. Also changing by dint of the fact that RB have double the budget for intra season development over STR. That said I hear that STR cars will get a slew of RB type develoments in Hungary. That should be fun for STR drivers!

      RedBull also made a very instructive and rather classless media coment, b4 the last race. That they would hereforth develop the RB cars "ONLY to suit Vettel's preferred driving style". Though "luckilly Mark Webber has a similar style".

      This is key to how fast drivers are. For years Button was considered a hasbeen/washout at BAR and Honda. This year he's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Huh? Reality is he has only in 2009 been given a truly competitive car and one which responds best to his driving style (very smooth and technical NOT aggressive so he gets super wear out of soft tires, whereas Bari is much more agrressive in his style and heats tires much more..ergo Bari was largely faster at Silverstone GP).

      Back to RB/STR Newey designs in 2009. Like it, or not, these cars likely respond best to a particular driving style and that has now been admitted by RB in their statement that they will only develop the RB car for Vettel preferences. Quite likely the STR mirrors the RB car in basic characteristics though it is slower (minimal development).
      It would seems that these cars respond well in Webber's and Vettel's hands and occasional to Beumi and NEVER to Bourdais. After that it comes also down to Bourdais getting quite upset with his inability to make a major driving style change to get the best out of his STR mount.

      Could Bourdais be extremely fast in another car? My bet is that in a Brawn he would be very close to Button. Both are technical very smooth drivers. Not to say that being an aggressive driver (attacking corners with late breaking and scrubbing off speed) isn't a good technique, it just needs a very different handling car and setup.
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