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Bourdais critical of F1

NEWS STORY
03/06/2015

Four-time ChampCar champion, Sebastien Bourdais, says F1 is no longer about racing, merely money and position.

The Frenchman, who came to F1 following four successive ChampCar title wins, lasted just one and a half seasons in F1 before the dream turned sour.

Signed by Toro Rosso, during a period when the team was at its most turbulent in terms of hirings and firings, his best result was a brace of 7ths - the first in his maiden Grand Prix (Australia) in 2008, and again in Belgium later that same year. Meanwhile, his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, was to score the team's first (and only) win, at Monza.

The Frenchman was dropped mid-season 2009, team boss Franz Tost claiming the partnership had not reached expectations. Following the threat of legal action, the Faenza outfit subsequently paid a reported $2.1m to the Frenchman.

From F1, Bourdais headed to Superleague, Le Mans, SportsCars and back to IndyCars.

It was following Sunday's victory in Detroit, in the Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix, that he hit out at F1.

"It feels really good," said Bourdais, whose previous IndyCar win was at Montreal in 2014. "I'm enjoying my racing again after a horrible experience in Formula One.

"I didn't feel wanted or that I could work with the team in Formula One," he explained to the Detroit Free Press. "Now I'm with sort of an underdog team competing against the Penskes, Andrettis and Ganassis, and it is feeling great.

"It's challenging racing on concrete," he said of the Belle Isle Raceway. "Driving in the rain at Detroit... it's tougher than any Formula One track, including the streets at Monaco. F1 has ruined every track. They have taken the character out of them, made them vanilla. It hurts me. Monaco is now a frigging parking lot with a couple of turns.

"Too much in Formula One is all about the wrong reasons," he added. "Money and position, it is not about the racing. In IndyCar, no one makes money. It's just great, pure racing."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by scf1fan, 04/06/2015 19:44

"@PB and Yeyox02 . . . Other than for the costs in F1 (and therefore the intense rivalries/paranoia etc. it causes) how is F1 different/worse then than IndyCar? Huge wings and other aerodynamic paraphernalia, tracks built in concrete and fenced in street "tunnels" and on runways (that are actually runways the rest of the time) and a lot of the same types of "rules" for tire usage and the like. The IndyCar series, by whatever name, has certainly fallen at least as much as F1 has. (And as much as I loved watching Foyt and co. race, and I really hate to say this, I can't help feeling that IndyCar is like F1 "slumming" . . . )

You may or may not like the current state of the F1 art, but I find it difficult to believe that SB has provided us with any profound insights. (And no, I didn't mark you down, though I don't understand how anyone can believe that SB is "completely right" when he's obviously wrong in saying things like "no one makes money" in IndyCar . . . . )"

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2. Posted by PB, 04/06/2015 17:59

"I so agree with S.B. The tracks are dull and uninteresting,the cars are boring to watch. I have watched and followed F1 since 1949. I believe that downforce is the real culprit-remove 75% of the downforce and we will see racing again!"

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3. Posted by Yeyox02, 03/06/2015 21:31

"Bourdais is completely right."

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4. Posted by GreenFlag, 03/06/2015 19:50

"Bourdais is a sore F1 loser. He really, really wanted to be an F1 driver but F1 chewed him up and spat him out. Hence his rant. Do you think if he’d been successful in F1, with a few wins and podiums to his name, he’d be spewing these criticisms about the tracks? You don’t see Montoya, who has won in both series, talking such nonsense."

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5. Posted by Editor, 03/06/2015 17:58

"@ CB120

"A mild clarification. The article states that he has had one IndyCar victory before Detroit. Bourdais, as pointed out, was a four time Champ Car champion and as such had many victories in that series which eventually merged with IndyCar."

It says: "whose previous IndyCar win was at Montreal in 2014" which is totally correct - it doesn't say (or imply) it was his only ever other win.

"

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6. Posted by CB120, 03/06/2015 15:38

"A mild clarification. The article states that he has had one IndyCar victory before Detroit. Bourdais, as pointed out, was a four time Champ Car champion and as such had many victories in that series which eventually merged with IndyCar. Unfortunately IndyCar races, especially those on tight or street courses, too often fall into a familiar pattern, - green flag, crash, full course yellow, green flag, crash, full course yellow, green flag and so on. I used to go to Champ Car/IndyCar races but would hesitate now simply because I don't believe that it's good value as too much of the race is run under full course yellows behind the pace car. It's not good bang (poor pun) for the buck. perhaps M Bourdais could work on improving the racing in IndyCar."

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7. Posted by Joop deBruin, 03/06/2015 15:36

"scf1fan,
Agreed. That was a tall pour of French whine."

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8. Posted by scf1fan, 03/06/2015 13:50

"I am sorry, and won't disagree, that he probably didn't have the best of times in F1, and that it is a financially hard sport; but it's been a long time since I've even wanted to watch an IndyCar/CART race (other than at Indianapolis) and a lot of the rest of his comments don't make a lot of sense. How is Monaco any more or less a "parking lot" than it was 5-10-15 years ago? That he believes that no one makes any money in IndyCar, it seems that the Penskes, Andrettis and Ganassis are all doing pretty well. F1 does have a lot of issues, but I'm not so sure that Sebastien Bourdais' commentary on them is all that relevant."

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