F1 »

Bourdais just misses maiden F1 podium.

Sébastien Bourdais admitted he wasn't sure where he had even finished in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa after losing out on his maiden podium finish in Formula One on the final lap.

The multiple Champ Car title winner had produced arguably his strongest performance since joining the F1 grid at the start of the year to run strongly inside the points entering the closing stages of the race, with a fine middle stint in particular leaving the Frenchman in fifth place when the anticipated rain started to fall at the Ardennes circuit just minutes before the finish.

When Kimi Raikkonen crashed out of second place, Bourdais was promoted to fourth place and then suddenly found himself starting the final lap in third when Fernando Alonso elected to gamble by pitting for intermediate tyres in an effort to try and take advantage of the wet circuit as both Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa set out to complete the final tour on dry rubber.

Bourdais followed suit and set about trying to nurse his STR-03 around the final lap to secure the final step on the podium, but as he tip-toed around the lap, he was powerless to prevent Nick Heidfeld, who had also gambled on a late tyre change, Alonso, team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica from finding a way past.

That demoted Bourdais to seventh place, matching his result in the season opener in Melbourne back in March, although the Frenchman admitted he wasn't even sure where he was when he took the flag to complete a chaotic race.

"On the last lap it was a lottery with the car getting away from you with every turn of the wheel," he said. "It's a horrible situation, as everything had been under control up until then. But I am not in a situation where I can risk everything and at the end of the race I didn't even know where I finished.

"It was so close to being a great result I felt I could almost touch it and so it was a very frustrating way to finish what was a great weekend up to that point. Such a shame, but nevertheless a very strong result for the team."

Despite Bourdais' late heartache, it looked like Vettel could still take Toro Rosso to the podium for the first time as he managed to get ahead of his team-mate on the final lap but he was powerless to prevent Heidfeld from moving through to third and then lost fourth to Alonso coming out of the bus-stop for the final time to take the flag in fifth – matching his best result of the year.

"Both me and Seb have good reason to smile after a race like that," he said. "The last lap was unbelievable and I was shocked as I got passed in the last fifty metres and then Heidfeld followed by Alonso drove past me with a 'whoosh' on their intermediates. It was very tricky at the end and you really had to trust your car.

"We were all saying that Eau Rouge and Blanchimont are now flat, but with a few drops of rain, I tell you, you see the real nature of these corners. Overall it was a fantastic race, even though I was stuck in traffic for a while. But I was very happy with the car and we had a very strong pace today. The guys at the front are still in a different dimension, but we have made some good steps forward and now it is up to us to use that potential at the next few races."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Bourdais (FRA), Toro Rosso STRO3, Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps, 5-7th, September, 2008
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, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads 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, 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, 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

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.


brendan - Unregistered

September 08, 2008 7:33 PM

the guy is clearly under pressure but he is doing the right thing and going for it. i think he is a really good driver and deserves a second season in F1. id swap him and piquet round. id like to know how he keeps his specs from misting at the start or during the race? i wear glasses on my bike and very heavy periods of rain on a motorway are a nightmare if u get your glasses wet or they mist and u have to open the visor to clear them(in turn getting them wet and dirty). having previously not worn glasses its annoying lol, but hey ho. give the guy a second season gehard!

rob - Unregistered

September 09, 2008 4:57 AM

Rich ard Seb B had a great weekend .. baring the rain he would have been many positions ahead of your dear Vettel.If not podium. He also was P1 in Q2 qualifying. Which by the way is the fastest session. He basically out performed Vettle by far this weekend. The rain change the outcome and vettle lucked out. I do like Vettle but you act like he hangs the moon every week and seb b. is chump change. The tide is turning and I think people in the know are rethinking of letting him go anywhere. He covered your wonderboy in the last grand prix. admit it. I would enjoy them being team mates next year as they seem to be a great fit.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

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