Scuderia Toro Rosso have announced today what many had expected; multiple Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais has been dropped by the team with immediate effect. It had been rumoured in Germany last weekend that unless Bourdais produced a decent result, he would be released from his contract, and while team boss Franz Tost cited an overall lack of achievements, it is likely that last weekend’s poor run in qualifying and race proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
As previously mentioned in the speculative article before the announcement had been made, Bourdais hasn’t enjoyed the success he had hoped for in his transition from American Open Wheel racing to Formula One. Although results were plentiful while Sebastien was driving in the Champ Car World Series, the Frenchman has struggled to come to terms with last year’s STR3 and this year’s STR4.
In Sebastien’s second year with us, the partnership has not met our expectations and therefore we have decided to replace him as from the next round of the world championship, the Hungarian Grand Prix. Franz Tost.
Scuderia Toro Rosso have had a shaky relationship with many of their drivers in their so-far short history, and Sebastien wasn’t afraid to show his displeasure at the action, releasing a statement on his website.
I am very disappointed and shocked by the decision taken by Scuderia Toro Rosso of not allowing me to drive for the Team until the end of the current season.
I consider that, in doing so, Scuderia Toro Rosso has breached its contractual duties towards me; also I believe that nothing in my behavior would legitimate a decision of the Team to terminate the contract. I think that the Team’s decision is in clear violation of Scuderia Toro Rosso’s obligations under the agreement. I have instructed my lawyers to review the situation including the possibility of issuing legal proceedings. Sebastien Bourdais.
Bourdais went on to say that the decision was even more shocking to him as the team are about to introduce several new upgrades that would have undoubtedly helped the Frenchman overcome his difficulties with the car. Bourdais also thanked his fans and supporters.
It is likely that Bourdais will return to America (although he states he won’t as he his “committed to [his] Formula One project”), much like how Alex Zanardi did after his [second] attempt at Formula One, where I am sure a team would be happy to place him in one of their cars.
As for Scuderia Toro Rosso, it is likely they will place Jaime Alguersuari in the second seat alongside Sebastien Buemi. Should STR take this option then Alguersuari will become the youngest driver to compete in Formula One, beating Mike Thackwell’s record by 57 days assuming he races on the Sunday of the Hungarian Grand Prix. The pairing of Buemi and Alguersuari will also create the youngest team pairing in Formula One’s history.
Of course, while Scuderia Toro Rosso haven’t yet officially announced who will take the second seat, one has to wonder whatever happened to Takuma Sato…