F1 »

Bourdais hoping for 'big difference' for STR in Barcelona

Sébastien Bourdais is eagerly anticipating a step forward from Scuderia Toro Rosso in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona in just under a fortnight's time, after enjoying the most encouraging race of what has thus far been a miserable 2009 Formula 1 campaign for him in Bahrain last weekend.

The record-breaking former multiple Champ Car king wound up at the very back of the starting grid in Sakhir – the third time in four outings that he has been out-qualified by young rookie team-mate and namesake Sébastien Buemi – but a much more impressive performance a day later saw the Frenchman work his way up the order into 13th spot at the chequered flag, four places ahead of the sister STR4 and having set the ninth-fastest lap time along the way, less than a second shy of the quickest outright.

“It was a really good day for me,” the 30-year-old affirmed, “except that I started so far back on the grid, which meant I couldn't get into the points. Clearly, the car was working well and I had good race pace. The team adopted the right strategy starting me on 'Primes', and after that I was quite quick.

“It was nice to drive a race on the attack, feeling comfortable with the car, and I knew that with the different strategies I had to push right to the end, running the 'Options'. Overall, I'm fairly happy with this result and now I'm looking forward to Barcelona and updates on the car, as I'm sure they will make a big difference. Thirteenth is nothing special, no points, but I can be pleased with the day's work.”

From 16th on the grid – less than a tenth of a second short of making it through to Q2 for the second time during his maiden season in the top flight – Buemi struggled in the oppressive heat of the desert kingdom, as he fell back at the start and failed to make much progress from thereon in, ultimately crossing the finish line a dispirited 17th.

“I'm not happy with the way it went,” confessed the Bahrain-domiciled Swiss ace. “It was very difficult and it could have been better. My start was bad with a lot of wheelspin, losing places, and then I was unable to attack and was sliding a lot.

“I'm not sure why I struggled with the car, as its behaviour was really strange. I was not concerned by the heat and gave my maximum from start-to-finish. At least I finished, which is a good experience, but there is nothing much else to say apart from the fact I was slow and had a bad weekend!”

The Red Bull 'junior' outfit has just four points on the board so far in 2009, 23.5 fewer than its parent concern. Despite possessing what is essentially the same car as Red Bull Racing, the small Faenza-based squad has remained largely glued to the bottom reaches of the order, and that is a situation that team principal Franz Tost is adamant must change soon.

“Given we were far back on the grid, the race was not so bad,” the Austrian mused, “especially with Bourdais who drove a very good second stint on new 'Options', and was around 1.5 seconds quicker than in the first one. For Buemi, it was good that he finished the race to get more mileage and experience, and so far he is improving constantly. Unfortunately, a piece of debris from a BMW ended up wedged on his front wing, which meant he suffered with understeer.

“The team worked well in the difficult conditions and we are looking forward to the next race in Spain, when we will have some updates to the rear diffuser, giving us more downforce. The entire field is very closely-matched and so the key to doing well on Sunday is to qualify well. That is difficult, given you have around five cars within a tenth, so getting out of Q1 involves being very well-prepared.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Bourdais (FRA), Toro Rosso STR4, Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai, 17th-19th, April 2009
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
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
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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.


Calvin _

April 28, 2009 4:33 PM

I'm happy that he has got the car working as he wants. I hope that he can now go on and improve his race performance and show us what he can do. Multiple championships across the water can't have been a fluke.

Ben - Unregistered

April 28, 2009 7:02 PM

Bourdais has been very impressive Sunday. during its second run he was most of the time 2nd or 3rd fastest on the track: Brilliant Toro Rosso is expecting a huge gap ahead in Barcelona. SEB is expecting 8/10 s which means Q3. looking forward :) :)



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

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