on September 1, 2008 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Toro Rosso say Bourdais must prove his talent

LONDON (Reuters) – Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso have told Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais he cannot take his place at the Formula One team for granted beyond the end of the season.

Bourdais, France’s only current grand prix driver, joined the Red Bull-backed team this year after winning four ChampCar titles in a row in the U.S.

However he has been overshadowed by team mate Sebastian Vettel, who is leaving at the end of the year for the main Red Bull team. The 21-year-old German has scored nine points from 12 races to two for Bourdais.

“In Formula One you have to give someone half a year of time before you start to judge him,” team co-owner Gerhard Berger told the official Formula One website (www.formula1.com).

“The half year is over and he (Bourdais) is now in a situation where he has to prove his talents.

“I would not say I already have a clear opinion on him but I also have to say Sebastian Vettel started a couple of races before and he performed very well in the first half year,” added the Austrian.

Asked whether Bourdais was a fixture at Toro Rosso next season, Berger added: “No, it’s open”.

Berger said the team’s young driver programme would be looked at first in the search for a replacement for Vettel and Red Bull would have the final say on the 2009 lineup.

“Everyone will bring opinions and then we, Didi (Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz) and myself, will try to find the right way for the team,” he said.

“At the end of the day the last word will come from Red Bull because that is where we get all our resources from. So it is natural we listen to what he would like to do.”