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Badoer: With two days' testing, it would have been a different story

Luca Badoer contended that had he only been able to test for a couple of days ahead of his F1 return in this weekend's European Grand Prix in Valencia, he would not be starting the race from the very back row of the grid.

The Italian has returned to action in place of the injured Felipe Massa, but having not raced for the best part of a decade, nor previously driven the F60 or even so much as set eyes upon the Valencia Street Circuit – not one of the easier tracks on the calendar to get to grips with – it was never going to be a glorious comeback.

That said, languishing three seconds off the pace during practice and qualifying was not where Badoer anticipated finding himself either, and an aborted final lap in Q1 that was on-course to lop six tenths off his fastest previous effort would still only have brought him to within a second of the next-slowest competitor, Scuderia Toro Rosso rookie Jaime Alguersuari.

If it has been a trying weekend so far, then the 38-year-old acknowledged that he is at least getting to closer to the pace the more laps he is able to do – but he is continuing to treat Sunday's grand prix as very much just a glorified test session.

“Obviously, I'm a bit disappointed as it's never nice to be last in any situation,” reflected the man from Montebelluna, “but I always knew it would be tough. As I've said before, this weekend is a sort of test for me and the team and that is how we are tackling it.

“However, I do feel the situation is better than yesterday as the more laps I do, the more confidence I gain and the better it gets. Tomorrow it will be important to finish the race, and that will be my target. I feel good physically and I have no problems on that score. For sure, if I'd had two days' testing under my belt, it would have been a different story.”

That means Ferrari's entire hopes for points or even better on race day are placed firmly upon the shoulders of Kimi Raikkonen in the sister scarlet machine, and whilst not his personal best qualifying position of the season, the 2007 F1 World Champion professed himself pleased afterwards with his third row grid slot – just over six tenths of a second shy of pole – and in confident mood for the grand prix itself.

“Honestly, this was one of the best qualifying sessions of the season,” asserted the Finn, “even if we are not as quick as those on the front row. Our final result will depend basically on how the start goes. It will be very important to make up a few places, because if we end up behind a slower car, then the race is compromised. I think we are reasonably competitive in race trim, as could be seen in Q3, while we are struggling a bit on light tanks. So far it's been a good weekend, and I am happy with the performance of the F60.”

Though aware that the Scuderia is unlikely to be able to repeat Massa's 2008 victory around the tight and tortuous streets on race day, team principal Stefano Domenicali did express confidence that a good result could be gained to enable Ferrari to retain its current third spot in the constructors' title chase.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Luca Badoer (ITA), Italian F1, Monza, 7-9th, September 2007
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40 and Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal
25.05.2017 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal

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Potsdam Currey - Unregistered

August 23, 2009 5:15 AM

For Luca to be only a few seconds of the pace, is actually quite good. This is a brand track to him and a difficult one at that. It takes a few days to get the right lines, for a seasoned driver who is current in his car! Now this is a new car, need to learn who the car handles and the F60 is a handful, compound this with an unknown track and you have these results. He is not pushing, but learning! During the race you will see his times get better and better. At first by a few tenths and then by a greater margin. Another point, A test driver will drive the car differently than a racer, the test driver performs according to what the engineering team needs and wants.

PhilW - Unregistered

August 22, 2009 9:40 PM

Poor chap. This is a dedicated and talented man who has committed the purple patch of his career to Ferrari and, through pure chance, has ended up in the driver's seat of a Ferrari Grand Prix car. He could have gone off to carve a career in sportscars, touring cars or suchlike but has plugged away testing Ferraris. If I were in his shoes (and there's no chance of that) I would just relish the moment. The list of Ferrari Grand Prix drivers is pretty limited so to get this chance is a rare treat. He'll get quicker, and although he might not get near his team mate's times, he will never forget these next few races. Good luck to him and I hope he has a great time.



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