Sebastien Bourdais

Born:
28th February 1979 (Age 40)
Le Mans, Pays de la Loire
Nationality:
French
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

The son of Le Mans regular Patrick Bourdais dominated the Champ Car World Series but was unable to repeat that success in Formula 1. Bespectacled and softly spoken, he may not look like a racing driver but Sébastien Bourdais was successful from the start of his single-seater career.

Successful early racing career

His La Filière Martini MK79-Opel won eight times to clinch the 1999 French Formula 3 Championship in what was his second year in the category. He joined the Prost Junior Team for the following season’s Formula 3000 series – pole position and a second place finish at Magny-Cours was his best weekend. Victory followed at Silverstone in 2001 with DAMS as Bourdais finished fourth in the championship.

That was springboard to a title challenge with Super Nova in 2002. Six pole positions and three race victories appeared not enough but Tomáš Enge was stripped of victory in Hungary after failing a drugs test and Bourdais was declared champion in his place.

Dominant in Champ Cars

With no route to F1, the Frenchman moved to Champ Cars and Newman-Haas Racing for the following season. Pole position for his first two races matched Nigel Mansell’s arrival in the series. Bourdais scored successive victories at Brands Hatch and Lausitzring and won again at Cleveland as he claimed 2003 Rookie of the Year honours.

Bourdais and his McDonald’s Lola-Ford was the combination to beat for the next four years. He was on pole and won half the races to clinch the 2004 title as he set about a period of rare Champ Car domination.

Formula 1 with Scuderia Toro Rosso

While fame and some fortune was ensured in America, Bourdais still hankered after F1. He joined Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2008 and benefited from the team’s improving fortunes to lead the Japanese Grand Prix. He finished the race in sixth position only to be harshly penalised for a coming together with Felipe Massa’s Ferrari. He scored a couple of eighth place finishes at the start of 2009 but was dropped mid-season in favour of Jaime Alguersuari.

Sports car success and Indycar return

A winner in Superleague Formula and a member of Peugeot’s sports car team, Bourdais finished second in the Le Mans 24 Hours of 2007, 2009 and 2011. That latter year also included sports car wins for Peugeot and a return to Indycars for nine races with Dale Coyne Racing – finishing sixth on four occasions.

Another partial campaign, now with Dragon Racing, in 2012 was initially hampered by uncompetitive Lotus engines but he finished fourth at Mid-Ohio having switched to Chevrolet power. Alongside his continuing Indycar career and occasional sports car outings, Bourdais travelled to Surfers Paradise to win V8 Supercar races in 2011 and 2012, sharing a Holden Commodore with Jamie Whincup on both occasions.

Race winning switch to KV Racing Technology

Having finished 12th overall in the 2013 Indycar standings, Bourdais switched from Dragon to KV Racing Technology for the following season. Initially mired in the midfield during 2014, he qualified on pole position for Toronto's first race and led to his first open wheel victory since 2007. A second season with KV included further winning Belle Isle's wet second race and at Milwaukee as he finished 10th in the championship for a successive season. He also enjoyed sports car success at the time for Action Express Racing – winning the Daytona 24 Hours in 2014 and at Sebring a year later.

Return to Dale Coyne Racing

He repeated that Detroit Indycar victory in 2016 but that was the highlight of a disappointing campaign with Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser's team. Bourdais returned to Dale Coyne Racing in 2017 and came from 21st on the grid to win the opening race on the streets of St Petersburg. Second next time out in Long Beach maintained his early championship advantage but he broke his pelvis and right hip when he crashed during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. He was fit enough to return for the last three races of the season.

Bourdais was on hand to win the St Petersburg Grand Prix for a second straight year in 2018 when Alexander Rossi crashed into Robert Wickens at the final restart. The Frenchman qualified on pole next time out at Phoenix and finished third on the championship's return to Portland during a consistent campaign for Dale Coyne.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2019 NTT IndyCar Series
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan
17 0 1 0
0% win rate
11th 387
2018/2019 World Endurance Championship
Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA
2 0 0 0 0
2018 Verizon IndyCar Series
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan
17 1 2 1
6% win rate
7th 425
2017 Verizon IndyCar Series
Dale Coyne Racing
8 (1) 0 2 1
13% win rate
21st 214
2016 World Endurance Championship
Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA
1 0 0 0 0
2016 Verizon IndyCar Series
KV Racing Technology
16 0 1 1
7% win rate
14th 404
2015 Verizon IndyCar Series
KV Racing Technology
16 0 2 2
13% win rate
10th 406
2015 Tudor United Sportscar Championship
Action Express Racing
1 0 1 1 0
2014 Verizon IndyCar Series
KV Racing Technology
18 2 2 1
6% win rate
10th 461
2014 Tudor United Sportscar Championship
Action Express Racing
1 0 1 1 0
2013 IZOD IndyCar Series
Dragon Racing
19 0 3 0
0% win rate
12th 370
2012 World Endurance Championship
Pescarolo Team
2 0 0 0 86th 0.5
2012 IZOD IndyCar Series
Dragon Racing
11 0 0 0
0% win rate
25th 173
2012 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series
Starworks Motorsport
1 0 1 1 0
2011 Le Mans Series
Team Peugeot Total
2 0 2 2 0
2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup
Team Peugeot Total
2 1 2 1 0
2011 IZOD IndyCar Series
Dale Coyne Racing
9 0 0 0
0% win rate
23rd 188
2010 Superleague Formula
Olympique Lyonnais
10 0 1 1
10% win rate
143
2010 Le Mans Series
Team Peugeot Total
1 0 1 1 21st 18
2009 F1 World Championship
Scuderia Toro Rosso
9 0 0 0
0% win rate
19th 2
2009 Superleague Formula
Sevilla
8 1 6 2
25% win rate
225
2008 F1 World Championship
Scuderia Toro Rosso
18 0 0 0
0% win rate
17th 4
2007 Champ Car World Series
Newman-Haas-Lanigan Racing
14 6 9 8
58% win rate
1st 364
2006 Champ Car World Series
Newman-Haas Racing
14 7 11 7
50% win rate
1st 387
2005 IRL IndyCar Series
Newman-Haas Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
28th 18
2005 Champ Car World Series
Newman-Haas Racing
13 5 7 6
47% win rate
1st 348
2004 Bridgestone Champ Car World Series
Newman-Haas Racing
14 8 10 7
50% win rate
1st 369
2003 Bridgestone Champ Car World Series
Newman-Haas Racing
18 5 7 3
17% win rate
4th 159
2002 FIA International F3000 Championship
Super Nova Racing
12 6 8 3
25% win rate
1st 56
2002 FIA GT Championship
Larbre Competition
1 0 1 1 14th 20
2002 FIA World Sportscar Championship
Pescarolo Sport
2 1 2 2 20
2001 FIA International F3000 Championship
DAMS
12 1 3 1
9% win rate
4th 26
2001 FIA GT Championship 17th 12
2000 FIA International F3000 Championship
Gauloises Formula
9 (1) 1 1 0
0% win rate
9th 9
1999 European F3 Cup
La Filiere
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1999 French F3 Championship 1st -