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Friday, June 13, 2008

The refreshing outlook of Sébastien Bourdais

There has been a lot of noise as of late from the American racing community regarding the conditions that would have to be met to lure an American driver to F1.

It seems most young American drivers are perfectly happy spending their careers running around ovals in exotic locales like Wisconsin and Iowa.

Contrast that with Frenchman Sébastien Bourdais.

Perhaps the most dominant driver of the decade in American open wheel racing, Bourdais finally got his coveted chance to compete in F1 this season. But the long dominant Champ Car star isn't with one of the big three, rather Gerhard Berger's Toro Rosso squad.

He has failed to finish four of seven races in 2008. At one point, he was within spitting distance of a fourth place finish when his engine failed. His best finish was seventh in the season opener in Melbourne.

Far cry from the four consecutive Champ Car titles he captured prior to his move to F1. Yet Bourdais has been waiting for his F1 chance for years, missing out on an Arrows drive when the team went bankrupt, and on a chance to join Renault when the team opted for Franck Montagny in a shootout.

Crash.net reports Bourdais is focused on enjoying his long-awaited opportunity in Formula One, the Frenchman saying it isn’t about the position, it’s about doing the job to the best of his ability.

If the car is only capable of achieving 15th, and he can bring it home in twelfth, he continued, the result can be more satisfying than winning in a car which is expected to win.

American racing series have produced far more Michael Andrettis and Alex Zanardis, drivers who dominated the U.S. scene but fell flat on the world stage, than Juan Pablo Montoyas, who achieved success.

What a refreshing breath of fresh air when compared to a Marco Andretti or a Graham Rahal, who may have the ability to compete in F1, but would pass up the chance because they would rather race in front in IndyCar than take a risk and put in some time earning their F1 wings.

It’s Badoer again

Ferrari’s Luca Badoer topped the sheets for the second straight day of testing in Barcelona.

Badoer set a time of 1:21.013 as the team prepared for next weekend's French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.

Pedro de la Rosa was second for McLaren, and Toyota’s Timo Glock was third, hot on the heels of his fourth place finish in Montreal.

Nico Rosberg was fourth for Williams, followed by the Red Bull of David Coulthard in fifth and BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica in sixth.

Rubens Barrichello (Honda), Nelson Piquet (Renault) and Sébastien Bourdais (Toro Rosso) rounded out the field.

1. Badoer, Ferrari, 1:21.013
2. De la Rosa, McLaren, 1:21.374
3. Glock, Toyota, 1:21.573
4. Rosberg, Williams,1:21.614
5. Coulthard, Red Bull, 1:21.668
6. Kubica, BMW Sauber,1:21.761
7. Barrichello, Honda, 1:21.950
8. Piquet, Renault, 1:22.037
9. Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 1:22.395 Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six

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