IndyCar’s Sébastien Bourdais has family on hand at race: ‘People are afraid to express their feelings’

At just under a year old, Maddox Haulove is a spotless race car warrior. In the back seat, his older sister Emma, 2, sits in her huge pink dinosaur onesie, watching to see if he nabs the win.

She can’t. It’s over.

It happens every day in the back seat of the Hauloves’ Cadillac CTS-V, with enough frequency to keep a toddler happy. Malum 4 is 2-year-old IndyCar driver Sébastien Bourdais’ beloved son, born months before the boy’s father made history by making history.

On May 19, Bourdais will go for the win at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he’ll have three generations watching in the pits. The boy with the fuzzy dinosaur eyes will be there, too, in all his shiny boyish splendor, but not on a track or a side-by-side with his dad on the edge of history. Instead, he’ll be back in Indianapolis, his family loving the way he’s tearing around the back of a race car, except on the inside.

“In this country right now, people are afraid to express their feelings,” Maddox’s mother, Gina, said as she watched Malum 4 race around the car. “My husband was, and is, free to express himself. It feels great.”

As a parent of two boys, Maddox and Emma, Gina Haulove said it’s heartening to see her husband doing something he enjoys without embarrassment or criticism. “Like me and my husband, I love all people,” she said.

Mel Haulove, Bourdais’ wife, agreed. In 2011, Mel won the Indianapolis 500 with her husband in his Honda, and they went for the Indy 500 victory at the same time, in the car. It was a time of “huge pressure,” Mel Haulove said. “But they pulled it off.”

On the eve of this race, Bourdais released his second memoir, “Rebuilding.” It’s been years since Bourdais became the youngest four-time champion of the IndyCar series. But now, at age 37, he’s going for the win that would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Jr. and Rick Mears.

If he doesn’t get it, he said, he will “be better than ever” in 20 years.

Malum 4 has been around long enough to know that his dad has a shot at something amazing.

Haulove has caught the color in the glassy lenses of Maddox’s racing goggles. She laughs, then holds up her neck.

“You can have all the money in the world, but not go to Disney,” Haulove said. “If I just knew my kids’ destiny, I wouldn’t have any desire to make money, either.

“I’m going to do what I can to raise my children, and then if I want to, I can go have an internship. Or go get involved with charity. But to be in this sport now, it’s very important,” she said. “It’s my job.”

Bourdais’ parents are thrilled about the change. He and Malum 4 will be able to see the family in a different way for the rest of their lives.

Cody Hoar, a veteran IndyCar mechanic, said he and Bourdais have had to work hard to perfect Malum 4’s perfect downforce. “You can’t really blow him,” Hoar said. “I’m glad he doesn’t have to go back and fight to get it like we do.”

Haulove laughs. Her son smiles in return.

“Mel’s not that tough on Malum. Maybe because he’s human.”

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