Three-times Champ Car champion Sébastien Bourdais will move to F1 with Scuderia Toro Rosso next season, becoming the first Frenchman with a full-time seat since Olivier Panis in 2004.
The Newman-Haas driver is following a well-trodden path, but he has to overcome the burden of history. Michael Andretti (McLaren, 1993), Alex Zanardi (Williams, 1999) and Cristiano da Matta (Toyota, 2002) all used title success in Champ Car as a springboard to F1. However, all three struggled to adjust, ended their contracts prematurely and returned to the USA. Bourdais was helped into Toro Rosso by Jean Todt’s son Nicolas, who has been managing his affairs in Europe.