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Bourdais: I am progressing - little by little 08 Aug 2008

Sebastien Bourdais (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 26 April 2008 (L to R): Sebastien Bourdais (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso talks with team mate Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 26 April 2008 Sebastien Bourdais (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary,  Friday, 1 August 2008 Sebastien Bourdais (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 9 May 2008

Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Bourdais has found himself outperformed by team mate Sebastian Vettel at recent races. Bourdais, however, believes he is gradually getting a grip on the main cause - the mismatch between his driving style, and the handling characteristics of the team’s car.

Bourdais made a strong start to his rookie campaign, scoring at the season opener in Australia, but ever since the introduction of Toro Rosso’s new STR3 machine at May’s Monaco Grand Prix, the four-time Champ Car champion has struggled to match Vettel.

“We all have a driving style that suits us and mine is ill-suited to a car that understeers in fast corners and oversteers in tight corners,” Bourdais said in his column for French newspaper L’Equipe. “I’m having trouble adjusting to it. One minute I’m not pushing hard enough and the next I am over-driving, whereas Sebastian Vettel is better at adapting (to the car’s characteristics).”

While Vettel has impressed enough to earn himself a ‘promotion’ to Red Bull Racing for next season, Bourdais’ failure to match the German has prompted speculation over his Formula One future. Nevertheless, the Frenchman insists things are improving.

“During Friday practice (in Hungary), like the previous week (in testing) at Jerez, I found several small things which helped me to understand the car better, even if I am still not totally at ease with it,” he added. “Despite everything, it’s getting better little by little.”

Bourdais conceded that there was no one, easy solution to adapting his style and admitted that focussing on the smaller things now looked more likely to reap him long-term rewards.

“I somewhat regret the time I’ve spent over these last few weeks looking for grand ideas on how to adapt the car to my driving style,” he said. “Now I am concentrating on a few details, I’m taking small steps, and it seems to be paying off. But it’s still complicated. That’s just how it is… ”

Bourdais heads to the forthcoming European Grand Prix lying 18th in the driver standings on two points, two places and four points behind Vettel.