Sebastien Bourdais insists that he has no intention of thinking about his impending Formula One career until after this weekend's Gran Premio Tecate in Mexico City is completed, claiming that he wants to leave Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing in the style it has become accustomed to.

The Frenchman, already confirmed as Champ Car champion for the fourth straight year before this weekend, is due to begin his long-awaited F1 odyssey with Toro Rosso in next week's Spanish group test, but insists that he wants to end his CCWS career with another victory, if only to repay NHLR for all it has done for him.

"I think it would be completely disrespectful to my team to project myself already on next season," he pointed out, "My Champ Car career will be over on Sunday night and not before that."

If he is to go out on a high note, Bourdais started the weekend in the right way, claiming a comfortable pole position in an otherwise hard-fought first qualifying session. Although he could still be toppled from P1 on Saturday, the Frenchman is guaranteed a front row start after rewriting the record books with his fastest lap, set on the red-walled option tyres. Last of all to leave the pits, Bourdais completed just six laps in the half-hour session, but that was enough to lead the field by a couple of tenths having, at one point, been almost a full second clear.

"It feels really good," he admitted, "The McDonald's car was very competitive on the track, and my team did a great job again - but no surprise there. We've been pretty solid here in Mexico City, pretty competitive and solid at the front, so everything is going according to plan. I just made a couple of mistakes on the second run on the options, which were definitely quite a bit better, so I'm expecting a little bit more out of the car tomorrow. Hopefully, we can stay on top and have a great weekend again."

With the pressure lifted by clinching the title in Australia last time out, Bourdais posted a best lap of 1min 24.698secs to eclipse the previous lap record, set by closest challenger Justin Wilson in qualifying last year. The guaranteed front row start is the Frenchman's tenth in 14 races this season and the 46th in his 73-race Champ Car career. He will be looking for his 31st career victory on Sunday, which would tie him with Paul Tracy and two-time series champion Al Unser Jr for sixth place on the all-time list - not that that meant much to Bourdais.

"I've never really given too much importance to records or anything like that," he admitted, "We're just trying to do our job and enjoy it, and we do just that. It would be awesome, not to set a record, but to finish on a high and have a great weekend because, as successful as this group has been, obviously you don't really want to leave with a bad day. It's racing, and you hardly control anything, but for sure it would be a lot better this way."



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