Sebastien Bourdais has confirmed that securing a seat at Toro Rosso in 2009 is a race against talent versus money.
Nov.20 - Sebastien Bourdais has confirmed that securing a seat at Toro Rosso in 2009 is a race against talent versus money.
The Frenchman had a strong finish to a difficult rookie season with the Red Bull sister team in 2008, but is anxious to hear whether he will be retained next year.
Bourdais, 29, denies that this week's Barcelona test was a 'shootout' for the seat against Japan's Takuma Sato, but rather a "purely financial" consideration for a cash-strapped team.
"As long as they don't have the money to run the team in a proper way they won't be able to say (who will drive in 2009), because it doesn't matter whether you have talented drivers at the wheel of the car if you can't run the car," he said.
Japan's Sato, a veteran of 93 grands prix with Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri, is believed to be offering a substantial purse of personal sponsorship should he be appointed for 2009.
Bourdais said there are also other candidates, but is anxious to finalise his own plans - on or off the F1 grid - for 2009.
"As far as I am concerned I don't see a decision being made any time soon because I don't see anybody being able to guarantee money right now, or tomorrow or the next day," he told F1's official website.
Bourdais said Rubens Barrichello and Bruno Senna, also in consideration for seats at Honda, are in the running at Toro Rosso.
The French driver said anybody "who has got talent and money today is a potential candidate".
"If nobody is able to assemble enough solid funding I guess - from what Franz (Tost) is saying - I am number one on the list because to change two drivers in a team is always a tough thing to do, and that is not their preferred solution, for sure.
"Actually Franz wanted to keep both Sebastian and me, but obviously Sebastian has moved on to Red Bull and I don't have the money, so this makes things quite difficult," Bourdais added.