Long Beach Grand Prix: Sebastian Bourdais infuriated after race goes sour

Sebastien Bourdais finished a disappointing 13th in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach after challenging for the win early in the race. (Action Sports Photography)

Have you ever purchased a delicious-looking donut, dropped the donut after one bite, watched it roll into the street and get run over by a semi-truck?

If so, you might be able to relate to Sebastien Bourdais’ afternoon at the Long Beach Grand Prix.

Bourdais made a holy-crap, did-you-see-that pass of three cars in a single corner entering Turn 1, which lit up social media with a collective “WOW.”

But that move to take second place turned out to be the highlight of his day, because it all went to crap shortly thereafter.

First of all, Bourdais was penalized by IndyCar race control — which ruled he used the pit exit lane to make the pass. He had to drop back and give one of his spots back as a result.

But Bourdais insisted he was actually forced into the lane by Scott Dixon — who was one of the cars he passed three-wide — which made the incident “an avoided crash that turned into a brilliant pass,” he said.

“It was the biggest save of the day,” Bourdais said, sitting at his pit box well after the race had ended. “When you get forced in there, then you’re braking in an area that has no grip and you’ve got to go over the eggs to come back on track, the car is bouncing up and down and you’re trying to save your life. I don’t see what I was supposed to do, honestly.”


After the penalty, Bourdais fell back to third and said he was so fired up about it that he made another bold pass to retake second place the very next lap.

“I was plain straight pissed off (about the penalty),” he said. “When I make a mistake or violate a rule, I’m the first one to raise my hand. But I did nothing wrong on that one.”


He only got angrier five laps later, when a caution brought out by teammate Zachary Claman De Melo occurred right when Bourdais was coming to pit road. As a result, Bourdais had to drive through pit road — losing track position — and return for his pit stop under caution.

“It was pretty straightforward until my teammate made a mess of it and hung us out to dry,” he said. “On top of that, race control decided to hang us out for two seconds. Greatly appreciated. These races turn into circuses when that happens.”

But that wasn’t even the end of it. Bourdais got even more upset after he had to restart back in the pack — where “you end up racing idiots who don’t give you any room.” He had only gotten back up to 10th when rookie Jordan King spun him around in the hairpin turn, finishing off the bad day.

“Jordan feels like a million dollars, dumps it in there and turns us around. Alright. Have at it, boys,” Bourdais said sarcastically.


Bourdais, who won four championships during the open-wheel split, said he was deeply disappointed in finishing 13th because he “drove one of my best races in quite sometime.”

He just had nothing to show for it.

Oh, and there was one more thing he was mad about, Bourdais said.

“What really upsets me the way the races are run these days,” he said. “You have a Graham Rahal who turns someone (Simon Pagenaud) around at the start of the race and ends up, what, fourth? (Rahal finished fifth.) I’m sorry, that’s just…we got to do something about this. It’s infuriating.”

3 Replies to “Long Beach Grand Prix: Sebastian Bourdais infuriated after race goes sour”

  1. Seabass makes it seem like that race was all about him. He did drive a good race with all the adversity that came his way.

    But it is a race and it isn’t all about him. His teammate didn’t decide to stick it to him nor did race control. The video shows that he went onto pit exit.

    Move on to Barber…

  2. Bourdais isn’t the only one who’s angry, I’m a fan & I am too! That was the most brilliant pass I’ve seen in IndyCar & you penalize the driver!! Bourdais makes the series exciting & when he was gone last year IndyCar lost it’s excitement!! He has the courage to pass & really all out drive to win, don’t ruin that!!!

  3. Indy Cars were my first love. Starting at age 7 in 59. The series has had it’s ups and downs but the racing has returned to mostly quality and close quarters. Where You can’t help but piss off a few people. I loved Danica because right or wrong she always fought for herself. NASCAR is screwed because they don’t have this any longer. If SeaBass being rightfully teed off to raise interest and the level of competition is what it takes then I’m all for it. All these ticky-tack penalties are annoying NASCAR fans and it shows in the stands.

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