As the Toro Rosso driver was leaving the pits and rejoining the race on Lap 50, Massa tried to overtake him on the outside and the two cars touched. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, his car spun while Bourdais' had no problem continuing the race. In the end, the Frenchman managed to keep his cool and finish on a promising 6th place – or so he thought – while Massa lost some valuable time and only had to settle for 8th place.
While most F1 commentators were expecting a drive-through/time penalty for the Ferrari-an, the Japanese stewards instead axed the Toro Rosso driver, giving Massa an unexpected help to close the gap on championship leader Lewis Hamilton. When hearing the news, Bourdais spoke his mind about the incident.
“For me it's very clear. Yes, I exit the pits, yes I'm supposed to be careful and I was. I stayed inside and I didn't push him out, I didn't overshoot the corner. I did everything I could not to run into him and he just squeezed and turned and behaved like I didn't exist, like I wasn't there. What am I supposed to do?”, stated a troubled Bourdais at the press conference.
He continued by blaming Massa for lack of respect towards his fellow drivers, especially since the Brazilian did not take any responsibility for this maneuver after the race: “I've been in this position many, many times and I never had any incidents. It's just a little bit of respect, you give each other room and then everything goes right, but if you don't for sure it's going to be an incident”.
Unfortunately for the 4-time Champ Car winner, his chances of scoring Formula 1 points in the near future have received a blow just before the Japanese weekend, as Toro Rosso already appointed Takuma Sato and Sebastien Buemi in team's driver lineup for 2009. With no team left to impress in the F1 paddock but Honda – where things look quite clear regarding Button and veteran Barrichello – the Frenchman should get the best of the remaining 2 races of the season before leaving the championship for 2009.