Bourdais: Blame IndyCar drivers, not aero kits

Sebastien Bourdais

Sebastien Bourdais has a message for IndyCar Series fans: Don't blame the new aero kits for the mess in the season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Blame the drivers and the long off-season, he said Monday.

"It was the first race after a very long off-season, and everybody was too impatient, not focused and no in the rhythm of racing at such a high level," he told The Star. "The aggression level was pretty high. It was like the season finale not the season opener."

There were five cautions for 22 laps, right at the average for the races on that street circuit since 2005.

Bourdais acknowledged the debris field from contact was significant, but it's not that the kits are fragile. It's just the way they're designed, he said.

Several vertical pieces on the Chevrolet front wing were knocked off in St. Pete. On the Honda side, losing the end plate caused several other pieces to fly off in contact.

A spectator was struck in the head by a piece of debris that came off one of the cars.

Bourdais said front wings broke just as easily in the previous generation of front wings.

"It's not really that different now," he said. "There's just more (wing pieces); it's not that they're more fragile."

Bourdais expects there to be fewer problems at this weekend's race, the inaugural event at NOLA Motorsports Park outside of New Orleans.

"(Drivers) will start to figure it out and back (their aggression) down a notch," he said.

Plus, NOLA Motorsports Park is a permanent road course rather than a tighter street circuit like St. Pete. Curt Cavin/Indy Star

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