With Luca Badoer under pressure to retain his drive in the #3 Ferrari in the Italian Grand Prix in just under a fortnight's time, the Prancing Horse has for the first time admitted that it is assessing its options as to who should fill in for the injured Felipe Massa at Monza – but who do you think deserves to get the nod?
Badoer has consistently underwhelmed since returning to Formula 1 in place of the recovering Massa following a nigh-on ten-year absence, and though he has claimed that the seat is his until the Brazilian is well enough to return, paddock whispers suggest otherwise.
If both qualifying and finishing last in the European Grand Prix in Valencia was perhaps understandable – given that the 38-year-old former International F3000 (now GP2 Series) champion had never so much as set eyes upon the circuit before nor driven the Scuderia's
F60 due to the sport's new in-season testing ban – then rather more was expected in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
However, after crashing in qualifying Badoer again started plum last, and could fare no better on race day, as his rustiness proved telling indeed. Though the Italian has pleaded for another chance to prove his worth in front of Ferrari's adoring tifosi
at Monza – a track he contends he 'could drive with his eyes closed' [see separate story – click here
] – the general feeling is that he is already on borrowed time.
Ahead of the Belgian round of the 2009 F1 World Championship campaign, Ferrari published a tongue-in-cheek list of drivers who could potentially vie for Badoer's seat, based on all the rumours. The list included double world champion Fernando Alonso, rising young stars Jules Bianchi and Mirko Bortolotti, out-of-work Super Aguri refugee Anthony Davidson and Force India's Spa hero Giancarlo Fisichella, who some are tipping as favourite to fill the void in the interim period, even if the Roman himself is denying any contact.
To have your say, click here