Scuderia Toro Rosso, a sister team of Red Bull Racing, confirmed yesterday that they have sacked French driver Sebastian Bourdais with immediate effect. The 30-year-old debuted in Formula 1 with Toro Rosso at the beginning of the 2008 season and was overshadowed by his German team mate Sebastian Vettel. This year he has been completely outperformed by Swiss rookie Sebastian Buemi, while Vettel has moved up to Red Bull and is now contending for the Driver's title.
Toro Rosso has said that despite a promising start, the Frenchman has failed to live up to the expectations as he has scored just six points out of 27 races in his career so far. Before coming to Formula 1, Bourdais dominated in the United States by winning four successive Champ Car titles between 2004 and 2007. But that probably shows the difference in an ordinary open wheeled car racing, such as Champ Car, and the pinnacle of world motorsport that is Formula 1.
Although not officially confirmed yet, it is widely expected that the current Red Bull reserve driver Jaime Aluersuari will be taking Bourdais's seat from the next round of the world championship, the Hungarian Grand Prix. If that does happen then the 19-year-old Spaniard, who is the current British Formula 3 champion, will become the youngest ever Formula 1 driver. The current GP2 championship leader Romain Grosjean is then expected to become Red Bull's reserve driver.
Sebastian Bourdais has however threatened legal actions against the Toro Rosso team. He said that he was unfairly sacked, and that also happened just before Toro Rosso is scheduled to introduce a whole host of upgrades for the next race in Hungary. Bourdais said that if he was given a chance to drive with that upgraded package on the car, he could have provided a more satisfactory result. So he has asked his lawyers to look at all the contractual arrangements to review the possibility of issuing legal proceedings.
In my opinion though, his time in Formula 1 is over. He may not have had the chance to drive a competitive car, but in his one and a half seasons in Formula 1, he almost always got outperformed by his rookie team mates. He never could prove his talent with what he was given, and if he cannot show it after 27 races, he probably never had that talent. That is exactly why I always say that Formula 1 is not just another open wheeled racing series, it is the pinnacle of world motorsport. So only the best drivers in the world can truly master those enormously powerful beasts that are Formula 1 cars.
Until next time, drive safely everyone!