Bourdais: I am progressing - little by little 08 Aug 2008
Toro Rossos 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 teams car.
Bourdais made a strong start to his rookie campaign, scoring at the season opener in Australia, but ever since the introduction of Toro Rossos new STR3 machine at Mays 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 LEquipe. Im having trouble adjusting to it. One minute Im not pushing hard enough and the next I am over-driving, whereas Sebastian Vettel is better at adapting (to the cars 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, its 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 Ive 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, Im taking small steps, and it seems to be paying off. But its still complicated. Thats 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.