F1: Toro Rosso send Bourdais packing

By Tom Harverson

Formula 1

F1 flop Sebastien Bourdais has been officially dumped by his team Toro Rosso with immediate effect.

Rumours have been circling around the paddock for weeks that the Frenchman was on his last legs after failing to meet the expectations of the team.

And two consecutive retirements – from last weekend’s German GP and at Silverstone three weeks earlier – has proved to be the final straw for the Ferrari outfit who have cut their losses and axed the 30-year-old.

The news will come as no great shock to F1 fans but its French contingent will no doubt be devastated at the departure of their sole representative in the sport.

Toro Rosso are reportedly due to fill the cockpit with Spain’s British Formula Three champion Jaime Alguersuari for the Hungarian leg of the world tour on the final weekend of July.

Originating from the famous racing town of Le Mans – home to the 24-hour endurance race – Bourdais failed to live up to the superstar reputation which saw him dominate the American ChampCar series for four straight years before his switch to F1 in 2007.

Bourdais tasted early success with a seventh place finish in his debut race in Melbourne last year, but just a week later he spun out of the Malaysia GP to trigger the first of seven retirements in his short career.

The Frenchman then continued to skid and stutter his way to just six points from 27 Grand Prix, finishing a dismal 17th last season.

Kept in the dark initially by teammate Sebastian Vettel (now with Red Bull) the Frenchman has continued to be overshadowed by his new partner Sebastien Buemi who is driving his rookie season.

If selected to pilot alongside Buemi in Budapest, Alguersuari will become the youngest driver in F1 history at 19 years and 126 days.

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