Dale Coyne Racing, the fact that they had both seats filled prior to the end of the year feels like a miracle. It’s not TBD – though going to go ahead and let you know ahead of time: I am not a fan of Ferrucci.
Last year the team had Sebastian Bourdais and the TBD Ride Share of Zachary Claman DeMelo and Pietro Fittipaldi. Bourdais did Bourdais things, coming back after the 2017 Indianapolis 500 crash to win St. Petersburg. He had four top-five finishes and three top-ten finishes. At Long Beach, he had a fantastic race but shitty luck. His pass on the outside of Dixon and then the inside of Matheus Leist at the same corner of the track will go down as the coolest thing I’ve seen in quite some time. Sure, Race Control gave him a penalty (he did cross the pit line), but Bad-Ass Bourdais took the position back within the next lap. He then went into Pit Lane just as a FCY was called closing the pit, so he had a drive-thru penalty. Finally, and as everyone was watching the nosecam on his car, Jordan King clipped him trying to pass Hinch (who was a few cars back) and spun him out. He then had a gamble at Alabama, staying out on slick tires as the rain encroached. It was risky and he had the lead, but the rain got to be too much and he had to pit – it cost him the lead. He also got into the Fast Nine at Indy.
It would be a mistake if the Frankenstein car at Portland wasn’t mentioned. A strong crash prior to quals forced the team to salvage the car. No matter, Bourdais qualified in fourth. THEN he was collected in that Lap 1 Turn 3 incident. However, he ended the race in 3rd place after nearly everything went wrong. Bourdais ended the 2017 season in seventh place.
In 2018, Sebastian Bourdais will be back. He’s joined Santino Ferrucci. Ferrucci ran in four races in the 2018 season. He nearly cracked the top-ten in Sonoma, but stayed in the bottom for Portland and Both Detroit Races. He had a bad weekend in Detroit. It was clear from a replay Charlie clipped Santino Ferrucci causing the rookie to spin across an active track missing both Matheus Leist and Zach Veach. Two laps later (with nine laps to go in the race) Kimball was given a “stop and go” for unavoidable contact. He then later tweeted out he should have given the rookie the benefit of the doubt. That is a backhanded way of saying “sorry not sorry kid” and is completely unsportsmanlike conduct. However, Race Control seems to not care what Kimball does. They should have fined him heavily for such conduct on the track, and I probably would have slapped a fine on him after the race (which you can do per 220.127.116.11. just in case someone from Race Control ever reads this) for his tweet. A stop and go on lap 61 when he was in no position to win the race is a slap on the wrist.
Here’s the thing, I think Ferrucci has a shown his ass a few times while in Formula 1 ladder series. This isn’t a game it’s a dangerous sport. I do put faith in his teammate will quickly put him in his place, and if doesn’t – there are quite a few drivers who won’t put up with anything.
We’ll see about this team. Bourdais had horrendous luck at St. Petersburg to start the 2019 season. Ferrucci ended the race in ninth.