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Scuderia Toro Rosso confirms Bourdais exit; Alguersuari to test

Scuderia Toro Rosso has finally confirmed mounting speculation that it has parted company with Sébastien Bourdais midway through the 2009 F1 World Championship – as the team prepares to give his expected replacement Jaime Alguersuari his first test run later this week.

After showing significant improvement towards the end of his maiden season in the top flight last year –ostensibly transforming himself from a tail-ender into a regular points challenger – Bourdais has struggled to maintain that progress in 2009, his sophomore campaign at the highest level.

Not only has the record-breaking multiple former Champ Car king failed to get to grips with the Faenza-based outfit's underperforming STR4, but he has also been routinely outpaced by young rookie team-mate and namesake Sébastien Buemi. Qualifying last – for the third time in nine races – for the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring last weekend, it would seem, was the final straw for the Frenchman's employers.

“In Sébastien's second year with us, the partnership has not met our expectations,” summarised STR team principal Franz Tost. “Therefore, we have decided to replace him as of the next round of the world championship, the Hungarian Grand Prix.”

Whilst the squad was more enigmatic about the identity of the man who will replace Bourdais, revealing only that 'an announcement about his replacement will be made shortly before the Hungarian Grand Prix', the widely-held view within the paddock is that it will be reigning British F3 Champion and current World Series by Renault ace Alguersuari occupying the cockpit come Budapest.

STR is due to field a heavily-modified car in Hungary – and not before time, given that the current machine has regularly languished right down at the rear of the pecking order – and Red Bull and Toro Rosso reserve driver Alguersuari is expected to test it for the first time on Friday (17 July). It is understood that the outing will take the form of a straight-line aerodynamics test in Italy, the only type of running permitted during the campaign.

“F1 is the highest championship in the world,” acknowledged the Spaniard, who at just 19 stands to become the youngest driver in the sport's official 60-year history if he makes his bow next weekend.

“Even if you have been successful in other categories, it is not easy to arrive in F1 and do the same,” he added, alluding to Bourdais' difficulties. “Everyone has his problems. We have a good relationship, but I have to concentrate on my work. Everything else I try to ignore a little bit.”

Buemi, for his part, has suggested that the specification of the revised car will be on a par with that fielded by 'parent' concern Red Bull Racing in the British Grand Prix – one that enabled Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to storm to an unchallenged one-two finish.

“We should then have the potential to qualify between positions eight and twelve,” the Swiss star told his national press, “and our objective will be to gain points.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Bourdais (FRA), Toro Rosso STR4, Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 24-26th, 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

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Murray - Unregistered

July 16, 2009 10:28 AM

Shows how much FOTA can be trusted, Honour a contract I think not, its all about self interst. Toro Rosso get rid of Bourdais, Renault to get rid of Piquet and Ferrari to get rid of Raikkonen and may be Williams to get rid of Nakajima. The drivers stood by the Fota teams but the teams arn't even standing by the drivers till the end of the season :?

didier - Unregistered

July 16, 2009 10:42 AM

pathetic torro rosso not even letting SB drive his last race with the revised car ! I hope they wont manage to tune it !!! Lets hope bourdais lend a car in a proper team !!



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