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Bourdais on trusting his engineer – and not upsetting his wife

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Bourdais on trusting his engineer – and not upsetting his wife
By:
Apr 7, 2018, 3:15 AM

Phoenix polesitter and St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais says he has absolute faith in his Dale Coyne Racing race engineer Craig Hampson, and is “trying not to upset my wife” by hitting a wall.

Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
Polesitter Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
Sébastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda poses with his mother and father, Patrick Bourdais

Bourdais broke his pelvis in a 228mph shunt at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year, and the DCR with Vasser-Sullivan driver admitted that he cannot help think back to that crash, especially in one-by-one oval qualifying.

“Every time I line up for a qualifying run like that, there's always some images that come back,” he said. “You can't help it. So to be able to just kind of be able to put it on the side enough to hang it up enough to get that makes you feel pretty good about it.”

Regarding his car setups for ovals, and for Phoenix’s ISM Raceway specifically, he said: “I think everybody is very conscious of trying not to upset my wife [Claire] too much, meaning keeping the thing on the black stuff, away from the walls! I don't think they really want to do anything too crazy.

“We unloaded the car we had at the test, and we tried something, didn't get a really good read on it, so we came back and really did some very fine-tuning to it. We got through the qualifying line, and I really knew what I had.

“That's the best possible way to go qualifying. I knew I could hang it out because I knew what I was running. When you start to do wholesale changes going into qualifying, then you lose me, because if I don't trust it, I'm just not going to go. Especially right now with the limited number of spares – you have a crash, your weekend's over.

“Yeah, I was just really confident we made the right decision and didn't change too much."

Regarding Hampson his engineer since he entered Champ Car in 2003, Bourdais added: "I have more trust in Craig than anybody else in the paddock.”

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Sébastien Bourdais
Teams Dale Coyne Racing
Author David Malsher-Lopez