INDIANAPOLIS – It was a really quiet yet interesting day for Dale Coyne Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais. He started third and brought his No. 18 Honda home fourth in Saturday’s fifth annual INDYCAR Grand Prix. It was his third fourth place finish in his last five starts on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
But, from where he’s been here the last two years, he’ll take it. In both the 2016 and 2017 races, Bourdais had mechanical problems. He joked earlier this week that he barely completed 20 combined laps the last two years on the 2.439-mile road course.
So, to finish basically where he started and to do so for the third time in five years, he’s pleased. The Frenchman said that this was a big day for his points standing.
“Really good points there for the SealMaster Honda No. 18,” Bourdais said. “I just didn’t feel like I did the best job to maximize the result. At the end, we got another fourth place and honestly I didn’t know what we were gonna get. We were loose for most of the race, which made for a very tough run. I thought the track was going to finally come to us and it didn’t. The balance was only good when we put the brand new red (alternate) Firestone tires on. The guys (other drivers) were really aggressive at the start of that last run and I didn’t know whether I should say screw the fuel number and go with them. I was already not making the number and under a lot of pressure from behind, so I thought maybe we just don’t have the pace and had to give up some positions. After that I was kind of a lonely wolf out there doing my thing and trying to make the fuel number a bit better. Next thing you know the leaders are backing up big time to us. Wickens didn’t want to give up on Rossi and Rossi was being aggressive, so by the end of that stint we had saved enough fuel to use the push to pass and he couldn’t and we recovered fourth. Overall, not super happy with myself. I feel like I missed on the balance a little bit. I feel like I didn’t get it quite done. Ultimately all that matters is we got the points from the fourth place and we’re looking pretty strong in the championship. Hopefully it keeps on happening.”
Bourdais sits third in the standings heading into May 27’s Indianapolis 500, just 26 points out. He’s right where he needs to be. Days like today show that.