US open-wheel veteran Paul Tracy has reacted to the news of Sebastien Bourdais losing his Formula One seat at Scuderia Toro Rosso by admitting that he has mixed emotions about the Frenchman possibly returning to America.
Bourdais' release by the Faenza concern naturally sparked - or, indeed, fanned - rumours that he could be bound for the IndyCar Series, despite claims from the four-time Champ Car title-winner that he had not given up chasing the 'F1 project for which I have renounced my career in the United States'.
Bourdais made his name with Newman/Haas Racing when, having failed to attract the attention of F1 team owners following his F3000 championship success, he jumped at the chance to race in Champ Car in a bid to further raise awareness of his ability. Even with a hat-trick of titles under his belt, however, the Frenchman remained unwanted and, having announced that he had given up on the F1 dream, a new management deal with Nicolas Todt saw a fourth crown rewarded with a seat at Toro Rosso.
Since then, however, he has failed to reproduce his CCWS form in F1, with 27 starts producing just six points, albeit with a team that, despite 2008 team-mate Sebastian Vettel's Italian GP win and comparable machinery to Red Bull Racing, continues to be known as a backmarker. After weeks, even months, of speculation - he was a late, late confirmation for 2009 - the Frenchman was formally ousted from the Toro Rosso line-up after the weekend's German Grand Prix, with Spanish teenager Jaime Alguersuari the likely replacement.
Tracy has since admitted that, while he would look forward to winding Bourdais up, both on and off track - he seems to have correctly predicted the Frenchman's period in F1 [see story HERE
] - he would be disappointed to see his former rival waltz back into a leading seat, especially as he has had to sweat over a handful of outings in 2009.
"I'm not surprised he's got the boot," the outspoken Canadian wrote in his regular racer.com
blog, "The guy was a misery even when he had the best car and was winning everything, so I guess he's been pretty unbearable this last 18 months. He's a great driver, but I bet his attitude didn't exactly encourage the team to solve his problems.
"I'm in two minds about this. I'm dreaming of the day that I'm able to give Bourdais the gears again but, like I've said in previous blogs, I will be mightily pissed if he walks back into a deal when I've been working my tail off doing promotions, and helping to sell tickets for race organisers, and don't get a ride."
Whether or not Bourdais gets a place in the field for next season remains to be seen, and could rest largely on whether he even wants to return to US, but Tracy is adamant that he wants greater involvement next season, even if it means foregoing further outings in 2009.
"Racing is starting to dominate my thoughts again, like it did at the start of my career, and what I'm thinking about is the future, not the past," he wrote, "My first priority is trying to do a whole season next year. My second is for it to be with KV Racing... but it all depends on financing and whether we can generate sponsorship. Given a full-season programme, I'm confident that KV Racing can regularly challenge for wins in 2010. They have the equipment, the personnel and the team spirit to do it.