F1 »

Bourdais: F1, Le Mans a busy schedule – but I've done worse

Sébastien Bourdais admits that whilst he is facing an extremely busy schedule in 2009, with a second consecutive season in Formula 1 with Scuderia Toro Rosso allied to a Le Mans comeback with Peugeot, his dual challenge is 'far from unachievable' and he has 'done worse in the past'.

The Frenchman – who pipped Super Aguri refugee Takuma Sato to the second seat at Red Bull's 'junior' outfit – will dovetail his F1 duties with a return to his roots with Peugeot, by competing in the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time since 2007, when he finished second for the Lion in the race dubbed the toughest in the world to win.

As a prelude to that, the 29-year-old will form part of the French manufacturer's assault on the Sebring 12 Hours in Florida next month – just a week before he takes to the track for the 2009 curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. It may be tight, but it is nothing, he insists, he cannot handle.

“Until Le Mans I'll be extremely busy,” Bourdais mused, speaking exclusively to Crash.net, “but it's far from being unachievable. I've done worse than this in the past.

“Inside of me I have a box for Formula 1 and a box for endurance racing – the two never get tangled up.”

The record-breaking, multiple former Champ Car king also acknowledged the stern challenge that will be posed by the legendary, round-the-clock La Sarthe classic, a race Peugeot has to win in 2009 after coming along with the fastest car for the past two years, only to be beaten by arch-rival Audi on both occasions.

Bourdais is confident that all the experience the team has gained and the lessons it has learned from those defeats will prove to be vital this time around – as will the Sebring 'warm-up' – and he is hopeful that it will be a case of third time lucky for Peugeot and sixth time lucky for himself on what is, quite literally, home turf.

“I was born and grew up in Le Mans,” explained the erstwhile International F3000 Champion, “so on a sentimental level it's my favourite race. Every race in which Peugeot will participate before Le Mans will be an excellent test in terms of scale and nature.

“Sebring is an atypical track where both the heat and surface are harsh on the cars. The American races also enable us to work a lot on race strategies. That makes them a very good exercise for all involved – drivers, mechanics, engineers and cars.

“As in every competition there are challenges. That of Le Mans is an endurance challenge in which the cars and drivers must remain consistent, quick and reliable over a long distance and in the face of fatigue, racing at night and the differences in performance between the LMP cars and the GTs. It is, of course, a mythical race which every competitor dreams of adding to their racing CV.”

by Russell Atkins


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Bourdais (FRA), Toro Rosso STRO3, Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps, 5-7th, September, 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.