Luca Badoer was caught speeding in the Valencia pit-lane four times on Friday during the opening two free practice sessions for the 2009 European Grand Prix, it has been revealed – as the Italian proved to be quicker in the pits than out on the track.
Only 20th and 18th-fastest respectively in FP1 and FP2 – just under 1.3 seconds adrift of 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen in the sister scarlet machine in the afternoon – the Italian admitted that he had much work still to do, but his cause was not aided by picking up a total of £4,680 in fines and an official reprimand on his return to top flight competition almost ten years on from his last appearance at the highest level.
Replacing the injured Felipe Massa inside the cockpit of the F60 as a result of Michael Schumacher's failed comeback attempt, the Scuderia's
loyal test driver for the past decade – the longest-serving in the team's history – exceeded the 60km/h pit-lane speed limit twice in the morning and twice again in the afternoon, accruing increasingly expensive penalties as the offences mounted.
In the wake of his fourth and final indiscretion of the day, the 38-year-old was summoned along with a Ferrari representative to appear before a team of FIA-appointed race stewards, following which a reprimand was issued.
Still, Badoer could at least console himself with the knowledge that he was in good company in his misdemeanours – Brawn GP F1 World Championship leader Jenson Button was also caught out travelling too quickly in the pits, and similarly fined for his troubles.