St. Petersburg Grand Prix winner Sebastien Bourdais admitted he was “kind of heartbroken” for rival Robert Wickens, after snatching victory from him in the very closing stages of the IndyCar Series opener.
Bourdais leapt from third to first at the final restart when race dominator Wickens was bumped into a spin by Alexander Rossi.
In doing so, the Frenchman scored his first series victory since St. Pete in 2017 – and his first since his massive practice crash at Indianapolis last May.
“This one’s emotional because we had to overcome a few bumps, rolls and a ball of fire,” said Bourdais.
“It took a few broken bones to come back into this victory circle, so I couldn’t be any happier for Dale Coyne Racing, [Jimmy] Vasser, [James] Sullivan, Sealmaster and everybody on board.
“All the boys worked so hard, and it’s a tiny group but they work their tails off. We didn’t have the fastest car today but we had the consistency.
"We pulled it together, we were going to get a podium – which was awesome – and I was really happy for Robert, and [I am] kind of heartbroken for him.
"But, for us, it’s such an upset, I can’t quite put it into words.”
When asked if he’d ever considered retirement after his huge Indy practice crash, Bourdais replied: “No, when I got the verdict on what was broken, and it would heal pretty well, there was never a question in my mind on whether I should continue or stop.
"I guess I’m glad I did continue!”