Luca Badoer will achieve something that seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher couldn't before he makes his return to race action at this weekend's European Grand Prix in Valencia - seat time in the 2009-spec Ferrari F60.
Schumacher's request to spend a day acclimatising to the latest breed of F1 car was denied by Williams and Red Bull, on the grounds that allowing it would set a precedent that could destroy the gentleman's agreement on in-season testing, and any similar plea from Badoer would likely have met the same response had it not been for Ferrari filming a promotional video in the build-up to Valencia.
Felipe Massa had been slated to undertake the driving role for the film but, with the injuries he suffered in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix preventing any return to the cockpit, Badoer was the natural choice to step in - even if the two-day shoot will not permit him to do the sort of testing that he would ideally have liked before breaking a ten-year lay-off from competition.
Promotional outings, such as those pioneered by Renault's F1 Roadshow, are among the few items permitted under the testing ban, but drivers are tightly restricted in what they can achieve from such activities. Badoer will not be allowed to complete more than 100km, and will have to run on an extra-hard compound Bridgestone tyre that will give little, if any, useful, data for either team or driver.
The shoot will take place today and tomorrow [17-18 August] at Ferrari's Fiorano test facility.