Sebastien Bourdais came away empty handed from the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday after a problem at the start of the race left him a lap down and ultimately right out of contention.

Bourdais had qualified on the second row of the grid in fourth however, his form in qualifying proved academic when his STR-03 stalled at the start.

With no warm-up lap, the Frenchman, who had already been reduced to tears by losing points-paying places in the last two laps at Spa - was a long way behind and any hope of points was gone.

He eventually finished 18th and while he could take some comfort from his pace, it was little consolation, especially as Sebastian Vettel won from pole in the sister car and especially as he reckoned a podium was well within his grasp.

"I'm not sure what happened on the grid," he stated. "When I tried to get first I couldn't and so then I let go of the flipper a bit quickly and when the gear selected I stalled, when normally the anti-stall should have come in.

"Then we couldn't get neutral and that was it, I had lost a lap immediately as the race started behind the Safety Car.

"It should have been a dream weekend with a chance of finishing first and third but sadly for me, it was first and nothing. However, this has been a great day for Sebastian and the team."

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost meanwhile did have some words of encouragement for the ex-Champ Car ace: "It was unfortunate for Bourdais that he had a problem on the grid, as he had a good weekend up until today," he emphasised.