Bourdais Refutes Steiner’s Claims of American Drivers Not Being Ready for F1


Credit: Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

After claims by Guenther Steiner that there are no American drivers ready to race in Formula 1, current Verizon IndyCar Series racer and former Scuderia Toro Rosso driver, Sebastien Bourdais, feels those claims are unfair and unwarranted.

The Frenchman believes those involved in Formula 1 are ‘in their own little bubble’, and as such do not appreciate the talent in the United States, and he understands why American drivers would be upset by the Haas F1 Team team principals claims.

Alexander Rossi remains the last American to race in Formula 1 at the back end of 2015 with the Manor Racing outfit, but Bourdais believes many American drivers would be up for a move across into Formula 1 should the opportunity arise.

“Clearly, there is just no consideration,” said Bourdais to the official IndyCar website. “They [F1] are in their little bubble on their own island.

“Either you play their game and are rated on their game or you are just not rated at all. I completely understand that the American drivers take it personal because it’s not fair, but since when is F1 fair? It’s never been fair.

“You can’t deny that the pinnacle of open-wheel racing is F1, and you can’t blame anyone for wanting a chance and wanting to try.”

Bourdais’ own Formula 1 career failed to set the world alight, while fellow multiple champion in the United States, Alex Zanardi, had a pointless campaign with the Williams F1 Team back in 1999 before returning back to American single seaters, with Bourdais feeling that their respective performances in Formula 1 did not help with the perception of IndyCar drivers.

“It took me four championships in the US and the Formula 3000 championship to finally get an opportunity,” said Bourdais. “And obviously, I didn’t really help the Americans, because I failed!

“You see the way people can perceive IndyCar drivers, and [Alex] Zanardi was before me and stuff like that – it didn’t turn into a fairytale.”