Sebastien Bourdais

Sebastien was French Formula 3 champion in 1999 and F3000 king in 2002. |  The Frenchman won four consecutive Champ Car titles from 2004 to 2007. |  He edged Takumo Sato to the 2009 race seat at Toro Rosso. |  Bourdais was named ‘Rookie of The Year’ in French Formula 3 in 1998.


Name: Sebastien Bourdais
DOB: Feb 28 1979
Place Of Birth: Le Mans
Nationality: French
Most Races For: Toro Rosso - 27
No. Of Races: 27
Sebastien Bourdais

Being born in Le Mans, the home of the historic 24-hour sports car race, does not guarantee that you will grow up to be a racer, but for Sebastien Bourdais, it somehow worked out that way. Growing up in racing environs in the presence of a father who was passionate about the sport, it was but natural that this French lad chose to make a career behind the steering wheel of a racing car.

Bourdais passed through his formative years and made his way up the ranks in junior formulae. He was later crowned French F3 champion in 1999. Two years on, he was king of the International F3000 championship racing for the Prost Junior team and knocked eagerly on F1 doors.

In 2003 he was signed on to drive for the Arrows F1 outfit but missed out on making his debut as the team went bankrupt. Later that year, he tested for Renault but once again missed out on a race seat to none other than soon-to-be double world champion, Fernando Alonso.

Distraught after missing two opportunities by the skin of his helmet in the very same year, Bourdais took a dive into the Champ Car series lane. For the next four years from 2004 to 2007 the lad from Le Mans bowled the series over with his dominance, winning four titles with repeated panache. The F1 doors were bound to open up for Bourdais again, and this time he wasn’t even going to let destiny snatch the opportunity away. His patience was finally rewarded when Toro Rosso signed him on for a drive.

2008 was set to be the year of Bourdais’ big F1 debut and he simply had to be content that it was ‘better late than never’. A 29-yr old debutant is not only rare in F1, but it is also very difficult for a guy that old to find his feet and make a mark, in this day and age. At the end of the season in which he was overshadowed by his teammate Sebastian Vettel who scored 35 points, as opposed to his tally of just four points, Bourdais’ future in the team was in doubt.

Since the Frenchman has had a history of being so close yet so far in his tryst with F1, he may have had a few nerves during the winter of 2008 when Toro Rosso took time over announcing its driver line-up. Things may have gotten even more worrisome for Bourdais when the news broke that Sebastien Buemi was signed on for 2009 to replace Vettel who moved to Red Bull for the coming season. When a younger man with the same first name as you, signs up to race in your team ahead of you, you are bound to be insecure as a racer. But Bourdais didn’t give up hope when the seemingly quicker Swiss racing sensation Buemi was given first preference to don Toro Rosso overalls in 2009.

With just over a month left for the start of the season, in a decision that almost seemed like an afterthought, Toro Rosso confirmed that it would retain Bourdais for the ‘09 season.

As the season commenced, the Four-time Champ-Car winner, who turned 30 in February, did not have too many opportunities left to make a mark in the pinnacle of motorsport. Nine races into the season and Bourdais could only accumulate two points. Though in a back-marker team, much more was expected out of him and the team decided to replace him with 19-year-old Jaime Alguersuari for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

With a disappointing end to a career that could be decorated with more points  if not wins, Bourdais, a fighter that he is will surely bounce back into the F1 scene.

  • GPs
YearTeamClaGPs WinsPolesPods FLsPts
2008Toro Rosso17th1800004
2009Toro Rosso19th900002
Total 2700006

Sebastien Bourdais - HEAD TO HEAD (TEAM-MATES)

Sebastien Bourdais - Season Performance

According to stats...

  • Sebastien was French Formula 3 champion in 1999 and F3000 king in 2002.
  • The Frenchman won four consecutive Champ Car titles from 2004 to 2007.
  • He edged Takumo Sato to the 2009 race seat at Toro Rosso.
  • Bourdais was named ‘Rookie of The Year’ in French Formula 3 in 1998.


“It has been a very long and difficult winter, but now the waiting is finally over and I am really excited about tackling my second season with Scuderia Toro Rosso. Now I can focus on preparing for the coming season. It promises to be a very interesting one, thanks to all the rule changes”
-Sebastien Bourdais


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