Bourdais: 'F1 is in its little bubble on its own island'


Former F1 driver Sébastien Bourdais chimed in on the debate sparked last week by Guenther Steiner's claims that no current American driver is up to the job of performing in F1.

The Haas F1 Team boss said he would like nothing more than to include an American in the team's line-up, but just doesn't see any talent suitable for the task at present.

The comments generated a backlash from the US, with prominent members of the IndyCar community lambasting the Haas boss.

Motorsport legend Mario Andretti, among others, labeled Steiner's comments "Wrong and arrogant".

A five-time IndyCar winner, Bourdais won four Champ Car titles before racing in F1 with Toro Rosso.

He completed a full season with the junior bull outfit in 2008, racing alongside Sebastian Vettel, but was dropped mid-way through the following year.

The Frenchman, who has been racing in IndyCar since 2011, fully understands the backlash reaction in the US to Steiner's claims.

"Clearly, there is just no consideration," Bourdais told

"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 personally 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 admits however that his own case, or the disappointing outcome of Alex Zanardi's F1 endeavor with Williams in 1999, only added to F1's unsupportive view of the US racing scene.

"It took me four championships in the US and the Formula 3000 championship to finally get an opportunity," he said.

"And obviously, I didn’t really help the Americans, because I failed!

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

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