Paul Tracy has suggested that Sebastien Bourdais will not be the best person to be around should he move to Formula One with anything but a front-running team next season.

Speaking exclusively to Radio, the Canadian veteran claimed that Bourdais' nature means that he does not handle pressure too well, and that that could mean bad news for the Scuderia Toro Rosso squad should the three-time Champ Car champion be drafted in for 2008.

Tracy illustrated his point by referring to incidents and outbursts when Bourdais has come under pressure in the Champ Car series - most recently at last weekend's race at Mont-Tremblant, where the Frenchman embarked on a tirade about rival Robert Doornbos tactics - which was broadcast on the circuit PA system.

"I haven't seen it myself, or seen anything on TV to suggest whether Sebastien was run off or not... but he got out of the car and had a major meltdown in front of the Quebec French fans and they kinda reacted in a negative way to his complaint," Tracy said.

"I think it's just really typical of his personality. Everything's great, everything's fine and he's happy when everything's going the way he wants it to go, but, at the moment it doesn't go the way he wants it to go, he reacts in a very negative, harsh way. I came across that in '03 and '04, when he and I had a lot of bantering back and forth in the media about each other and it was the same last year with AJ [Allmendinger].

"Once AJ started to win and challenge him, they started going at each other verbally through the press. Now, [Bourdais] has Robert challenging him and he has a verbal confrontational showdown with him. I think it's just in his nature."

Asked how he felt Bourdais would fit into F1, Tracy claimed that 'based on his personality, he'll just be a very unhappy person to be around', admitting that.he was interested to see how the atmosphere that pervaded Mont-Tremblant would spill over into his home town of Toronto this weekend.

"I'm just excited to go the press conference, as I think both are slated to be there," he laughed, "I'm happy not to be the one in the centre of the storm, and it'll be nice to be a bystander and look on to see how each reacts to each other. It was quite comical last week to see their reactions to each other on the podium.

"Robert obviously comes from a European background, and has spent time already in Formula One. He's been around the F1 atmosphere and lifestyle for a few years now, so he definitely knows how to play the game - and he seems to have Sebastien pretty wound up."

Bourdais was not alone in the Forsythe driver's sights, however, with both Doornbos and fellow rookie Graham Rahal coming in for a little criticism. Rahal claimed after the recent Cleveland race - which Tracy won - that he had been wary of passing the Canadian for fear 'that he would have me in the fence', while Doornbos was instrumental in an incident that saw Tracy and the Atlantic graduate make contact early in the same race.

"I haven't had the chance to talk to [Graham] about it, but the incident between him and I was really caused by him and Doornbos playing around and trying to run each other off the track," the veteran explained, "I was going to sit down and talk with and say 'hey, listen, I raced against your father for nearly 15 years and never once came into conflict with him'.

"Like I said, the incident between him and me was really the end result of him and Robert messing around with each other, it wasn't something that was caused by me, or initiated by me. [Robert] took him all the way to the grass and had him pinned all the way along the edge, which is really against the rules in Champ Car racing. Whether that is allowed in F1, or in Europe, is arbitrary. The rules are the rules of Champ Car."

For full interview with Paul Tracy, go to Champ Car features


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment