Bourdais left to fume after stewards strike again

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Besides seeing Lewis Hamilton show signs of weakness in his world championship campaign, Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix marked another episode in Formula One's latest soap, The Stewards. Hamilton was given a drive-through penalty for causing Kimi Raikkonen to run wide, effectively ruining his race, while title rival Felipe Massa received one for tapping Hamilton into a spin a lap later.

Later, one of the afternoon's other fine drives was negated by the stewards. Sébastien Bourdais actually led briefly for Toro Rosso during the first pit-stops and finished sixth in his most convincing F1 drive. Along the way he was involved in a minor collision with Massa, who tried to overtake him around the outside of the first corner as Bourdais rejoined after his second stop on the 50th lap, and Massa spun as he ran out of room.

There was incredulity when the stewards added a 25-second penalty to Bourdais' race time, thus dropping him from sixth to 10th.

The Frenchman reacted angrily. "I stayed inside and I didn't push him out. I did everything I could, not to run into him and he just squeezed and turned and behaved like I didn't exist. What am I supposed to do? Every time I get called to the stewards, it goes against me."