Back when dinosaurs stalked the planet, there was an Age of F1 that boasted around half a dozen French drivers on the Grand Prix grid. Three teams hailed from ‘L’Hexagone’ and French rivalled English as the language of the paddock. These days, however, F1 seems to say “Non,” to La France, so Monsieur Bourdais’s arrival on the scene has caused something of a stir in his native land. It’s definitely not all hype as the 28-year-old is a current and quadruple champion in the USA Champ Car series and prior to that, he was the 2002 Formula 3000 Champion. “I know a lot is expected of me, especially from the French, but I would ask them not to expect too much,” says Sébastien. “It’s not pressure, because no-one wants to do well more than I do. But let’s put it into perspective – I’m not going to win the championship this year!”

In the past, racers coming from the States have found that the F1 pit lane can be a boulevard of broken dreams. “It’s true, but there were specific reasons why it did not work for some of them,” comments Sébastien. “But I have a European background and I will settle in well.” He’ll be settling in Switzerland to be precise, after five years in Florida, although he originally hails from Le Mans, which explains the racing background. “I don’t mind where I live, because home is wherever my family and friends are.”

Spending time with that family, which now includes a baby girl, will not be easy given Seb’s busy schedule in his first year as a Formula One driver. “I know that I have a lot to learn this year, including the fact that around half the race tracks will be new to me. In fact, I am already looking forward to 2009!”


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