F1 »

Bourdais` future far from secure at STR.

Scuderia Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger has revealed that he has still to decide whether or not the team should retain four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais for 2009.

The Frenchman's arrival in Formula One was welcomed by those that felt he had been overlooked in the years since clinching the FIA F3000 crown, but Berger admits that the rookie has yet to do anything to convince him to extend his deal into a second season. Although he has scored points in his debut season, Bourdais has not been able to add to the brace he acquired in Melbourne's race of attrition - an event he also failed to finish after engine failure.

Since then, and despite the arrival of the 2008-spec STR3, his best result has been the tenth place he picked up in Valencia last time out - aided by a first appearance in the final phase of qualifying - with four DNFs punctuating a string of finishes in the bottom half of the field. As a result, Berger insists that there is still much for Bourdais to do if he is to hang on to his seat.

"In Formula One, you have to give someone half a year of time before you start to judge him," Berger admitted to the official website, "The half year is over and he is now in a situation where he has to prove his talents.

"I would not say that I already have a clear opinion on him, but I also have to say that Sebastian Vettel started a couple of races before [the 2008 season] and he performed very well in the first half year. We will have to see how the second half goes for Sebastien Bourdais. Honestly, I don't want to be drawn into an expression of opinion at this very moment. It's open."

"Every weekend is going to be different," added Bourdais. "If people had asked me to sign for that, I would have."

Berger was more complimentary, however, about Vettel, despite being resigned to losing the young German to 'sister' team Red Bull Racing next season. After a handful of impressive performances at the end of 2007, Vettel has led Toro Rosso's rise up the order this season, claiming four points finishes since the STR3 was introduced in Monaco.

"Sebastian has helped us to get the right atmosphere back," the Austrian noted, recalling an acrimonious 2007 campaign, "We had been really struggling with Scott Speed and Tonio Liuzzi last year, but he has proved what the team is able to do and done it in a very nice way, with us, with the engineers, with everybody. That has pushed us such an immense step forward - it is really a pity to lose him. There is not a single soul in the team that is not sad to see him go at the end of the season."

Bourdais' future aside, there has been much recent speculation about who might step up to replace Vettel next year, with the usual list of Red Bull-backed youngsters being joined by the likes of Bruno Senna, for whom Berger admits to having a soft spot after working closely with the Brazilian's world champion uncle during his own F1 career.

Despite the various rumours, however, the Austrian says that he has yet to make any decisions on his next driver pairing and could wait to see what happens when F1's annual 'silly season' finally kicks off. However, with Red Bull likely to continue as principal backer for another year, Berger admits that the decision will not be entirely his own.

"The first direction that we look in is, obviously, to the Red Bull young driver programme, and then we'll see," he confirmed, "But we are not quite ready yet, we don't really have a list in our heads at this stage. We are far from saying it's this one or that one because we are also waiting to see if something happens elsewhere - and probably then we'll get a new chance.

"Everybody will bring opinions and then we - Didi [Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz] and myself - will try to find the right way for the team. At the end of the day, the last word will come from Red Bull because that is where we get all our resources from, so it is natural that we listen to what he would like to do."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Bourdais (FRA), Toro Rosso STRO3, Hungarian F1, Hungaroring, 1st-3rd, August, 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]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
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 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

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 _

September 01, 2008 3:45 PM

IMO, it's a bit too soon to dump the guy. Any driver should be given a couple of years to prove himself, especially someone who has not raced on many of the circuits in recent years. It's obviously harder coming from a racing series in the US to a mainly European series, far harder than rookies coming from a European feeder series. Having said that, if this were the position one year on, then he needs to be dumped.

Geno - USA - Unregistered

September 02, 2008 3:47 AM

This is same Gerhard Bhergermeister that slammed Scott Speed's career after half a year and said that Lewis Hamilton was overrated. His credibility is down there with Max. You guys that talk about ChampCar seem to forget JPM. He didn't do too badly in the walrus nose Williams - did he? He torched his teammates (and Schumi's record for rookies) in qualy from day one until the day he found out that his future in F1 was over. SeaBass needs to find another team. Maybe Honda? His skills cannot be measured when he works for such a third rate and low class outfit.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

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