Moving to Formula 1 was always a risky story for Indycar stars. Some of them, like Mario Andretti, Jacques Villeneuve or Juan Pablo Montoya, were able to maintain their reputation, while for others, like Michael Andretti or Christiano da Matta, the transition ended in a complete fiasco. The story of Sebastien Bourdais is an example from the latter. French F3000 graduate was a dominator of CART series in the mid-2000s. Bourdais won 4 Championships titles in a row – from 2004 to 2007, winning 31 out of 73 races. Of course, when in 2007 it was announced that Bourdais will move to F1 with Toro Rosso team, the expectations from the combination of CART champion with F1 outsider were moderate. Bourdais started his F1 career with spectacular performance when in his first race in Australian GP 2008 he retired from 4th position with 3 laps remaining. Anyway he was classified 7th, scoring points at his debut race. But during the rest of the season he was able to achieve only one more finish in the points (7th in Belgium) and was classified on 17th position in the Drivers’ Championship. For the next season Toro Rosso built new STR4 car. Actually it was very similar to Red Bull RB5 of the sister team, designed by their common technical team based in Milton Keynes and lead by Adrian Newey. STR4 was powered by a 2008-spec Ferrari 056 engine, and the Italian team at Faenza designed the engine fittings, KERS locations and other engine / chassis details as those are all very different from the Red Bull RB5 which was powered by a Renault engine. Bourdais again was in points in the first race in Australia. Then Sebastien had a mixed fortune. He collided with his teammate Buemi in Spain, took his second (and last) point in Monaco, and then collided with Heikki Kovalainen in McLaren at Silverstone. After his retirement in the German Grand Prix the team decided to replace Bourdais with Jaime Alguersuari. The next season (2010) Bourdais drove in Superleague Formula and then came back to Indycars, where he won several more victories, but could no longer return his champion level.
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