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Bourdais: At least new car will be earlier than last year...

Sébastien Bourdais has admitted that the late arrival of Scuderia Toro Rosso's new car for the 2009 Formula 1 season 'for sure is not an advantage' – but he nonetheless remains positive of enjoying a far more successful campaign in the top flight than he did last year.

The Frenchman has been retained for a second season at the Red Bull 'junior' outfit following a long winter of uncertainty during which both he and ex-Super Aguri refugee Takuma Sato waited anxiously to find out which of the pair would be given the nod.

Happily from his point-of-view, Bourdais got the verdict – allowing him to look ahead to his new challenge with renewed confidence and determination. If he acknowledges that the late launch of the new STR4 – the last of the 2009 machines to see the light of day – will leave little pre-season testing time, he joked that at least he will get his hands on the updated model a little earlier than was the case in 2008…

“For sure it is not an advantage,” the 29-year-old reflected, speaking exclusively to Crash.net, “but at least we will have the new car from first race, which was not the case last year. Also, RB5 (upon which STR's car will be based) seems to be quite competitive straightaway, and that is great news for us and the STR4.”

Indeed, for much of the early-to-middle part of last season, Bourdais struggled to get a handle on the small Faenza-based squad's new machine, but by the end of the year he was proving to be all-but a match for highly-rated team-mate Sebastian Vettel, F1's newest and youngest-ever grand prix winner.

Some have suggested that the return of slick tyres to the sport will play in the record-breaking multiple Champ Car king's favour, and with another 'Seb' alongside him in 2009 in the shape of GP2 Series graduate Sébastien Buemi, he is clearly hopeful of picking up where he left off and of showing his detractors that not only does he deserve his place at the pinnacle of international motorsport – but that he is in it for the long haul.

“I think everyone is familiar with slicks,” he reasoned. “Obviously everyone has been driving on slicks in every series they have been racing in prior to F1. It's only in F1 that you had to deal with grooved tyres, and in the end I wouldn't say grooved tyres have been a huge problem for me.

“The problem is always the balance of the car. I was happy with the STR2 but not with the STR3, although it was a much quicker car. Everything needs to be put into perspective.

“Sébastien is a nice guy; I met him last year. He's quick and obviously wants to do well in his first season in Formula 1. I'm sure we will have a good relationship and we'll try to give the best results to the team.

“It's obviously very difficult to anticipate what the '09 season is going to be. Hopefully our car is going to have a strong back and good rear stability, and I will be happy with it and can perform really well for the team and for myself. That's all I can say. The goal is quite clear; it's the same as last year – to try and score as many points as we can.”
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
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
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12

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Chris - Unregistered

February 26, 2009 8:38 AM

I hope Seb gets another chance like Monza last year, he could have challenged for a podium had his car not given up on the grid. Alas, new-Schumacher stole the praise that day instead..

Michael Dupré - Unregistered

February 26, 2009 7:03 AM

Not trying to sound optimistic, but, looking at the way the RB5 has peformed so far in testing, and also considering that the Ferrari Engine was much better than the renault engine last year(albeit Renault have upgraded their engine), I would say that Bourdais has the package for wins and possibly have a run at the championship. He just needs tons of laps at the next test. People say Ferrari and McLaren should hve this championship as usual, BUT, I think McLaren are struggling. It looks more like Ferrari and both Red Bull teams for the championship. My money, would be on a VETTEL vs BOURDAIS championship. What a fairy tale that would be. LOL



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