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Bourdais: Toro Rosso sacked me by text message!

Sébastien Bourdais has revealed that he was informed he had been sacked by Scuderia Toro Rosso by text message – accusing his former employers of a lack of 'style' after being evicted from the Red Bull 'junior' concern's revolving ejector seat.

Bourdais was unceremoniously dismissed following last month's German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, confirming long-running paddock rumours and bringing down the curtain on an overwhelmingly disappointing F1 career that lasted just 27 races and accrued a mere six points.

For a man who entered the top flight at the beginning of last year – somewhat belatedly, many felt – with a glittering reputation as the record-breaking, reigning four-time Champ Car king, it was a poor return indeed. Admitting that the Red Bull Racing RB5-based STR4 was not built 'around a driver' – placing the onus upon the drivers to adapt to it – Bourdais confessed that such a skill 'was never my best strength'.

Though there were genuine signs of improvement in the latter half of 2008 – with six top ten qualifying positions from the last seven grands prix, backed up by a string of encouraging race day performances to boot – in 2009 he failed to start higher than 14th in nine outings, and troubled the scorers just twice.

Worse still, Bourdais found himself repeatedly shown up and outperformed by young rookie team-mate and namesake Sébastien Buemi, a driver who some had suggested was not F1 standard prior to the start of the campaign. After qualifying 1.3 seconds adrift of Buemi and more than a second shy of the next lowest-placed driver at the Nürburgring, Toro Rosso decided enough was enough, and the man from Le Mans was shown the door, to be replaced at the Hungaroring a fortnight later by Jaime Alguersuari, the youngest starter in the official 60-year history of the world championship. The threat of legal action on Bourdais' part was subsequently settled out-of-court.

“The way they got rid of me was very disappointing,” the 30-year-old told French magazine Auto Hébdo. “Dietrich Mateschitz (Red Bull magnate) was at the Nürburgring but he did not speak with me. He did not call me. Everything was done by SMS, which to me has no style.”

Related Pictures

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Sebastien Bourdais (FRA), Toro Rosso STR4, German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009
23.08.2014- Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 and Pasquale Lattuneddu (ITA), FOM
23.08.2014- Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
23.08.2014- Jessica Michibata (GBR), girfriend of Jenson Button (GBR)
23.08.2014- Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
23.08.2014- Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
23.08.2014- Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director.
23.08.2014- Alejandro Agag (ESP) and Pasquale Lattuneddu (ITA), FOM
22.08.2014- Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team
22.08.2014- Free Practice 2, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
22.08.2014- Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
22.08.2014- Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 and Andre Lotterer (GER), Caterham F1 Team
22.08.2014- Sebatien Buemi (SUI) Test Driver, Red Bull Racing RB10 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
22.08.2014- Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9 and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
22.08.2014- Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
22.08.2014- Robert Fernley (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal
22.08.2014- Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
22.08.2014- Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9

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Nanbawan - Unregistered

August 15, 2009 10:33 PM

In the same Auto Hebdo Bourdais states that he's not good at adapting his style to the car but rather the opposite. As an example, he said that when he came to ChampCar he was thrashed by Junqueira, things got better when he was able to suit the car to his driving, something he wasn't allowed to do at STR. SB a whiner ? What kind of person would admit those things, for me he's rather a very honest, factual and straight talking kind of guy. Something not well perceived in the F1 circles it seems... In Rome...

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