Honda website
Honda website

OCTOBER 26, 2006

Bourdais staying in America

Sebastien Bourdais, who last weekend wrapped up his third consecutive Champ Car title, admits that he is frustrated that none of the F1 teams will offer him more than a testing role with no guarantees beyond that. To accept that would be a big step down for the Frenchman but probably the only way that he will now make it in to F1.

Bourdais says that he is "realistic" about his chances but that does not stop him wishing that things had been different. Bourdais reckons that the thing that has long worked against him was that he refused to sign a management deal with Flavio Briatore. One can argue the rights and wrongs of a driver manager also making decisions about running a top F1 team but there is no doubt that Bourdais's decision not to give a sizeable chunk of his income to Flavio has worked against him.

Looking at the situation from a real world perspective, it seems decidely odd but if the management of Renault accepts these bizarre arrangements they have only themselves to blame if, in choosing drivers and deciding their salaries, Briatore effectively pays himself more.

Whether such a position can be maintained if Renault stops winning races is quite another matter. For years Briatore had a comfortable arrangement with the company but under new boss Carlos Ghosn such things may only be tolerated if they are backed up by World Championship success.