Luca Badoer’s F1 return (pictures)

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Luca Badoer was 20th and 18th in practice for Ferrari at Valencia today
Luca Badoer was 20th and 18th in practice for Ferrari at Valencia today

Luca Badoer didn’t have the best return to F1, propping up the times sheets after the first session and only making it to 18th in the second.

But the Ferrari driver insisted he was not worried about his performance – and this is, after all, only practice. Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said:

Given his situation ?ǣ a long time away from racing, an unknown circuit ?ǣ the first day can be considered a positive experience for Luca. Clearly this weekend is something of a test session for him and that is how it must be judged.

Badoer said:

I am happy with the way things went today. I expected a difficult day and so it was. It was vital that I did not make any serious mistakes so that I could get through the programme we had established. Now we can begin to work on the car set-up to try and adapt it to my driving style.

The team has not set me any specific goal for this weekend and I am pleased about that consideration because it is important I return to having full confidence in the car and with the world of the Grand Prix weekend. I am also grateful to Michael who wanted to be here this weekend. It is important for me to be able to count on his support, especially from the human point of view and of course, also in terms of technical matters.

Badoer was 1.3 seconds off Kimi Raikkonen’s pace in the second timed session. Inevitably Raikkonen will be the focus of the team’s efforts to hold on to third place in the constructors’ championship as it looks like, for this weekend at least, Badoer isn’t going to be challenging for points.

Ferrari have said Badoer will remain in the car until Massa returns. In which case there must come a point at which making allowances for Badoer’s return to the cockpit stops and the demand for results begins. After all, Jaime Alguersuari beat his team mate on his F1 debut at the last race meeting after no testing at all.

Here’s some pictures of Badoer’s first appearance in an F1 cockpit at a race meeting since 1999:

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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53 comments on “Luca Badoer’s F1 return (pictures)”

  1. … and he got caught speeding in pit lane on four different occasions, according to Autosport.


  2. Luca Badoer picked up a total of €5,400 in fines and a reprimand after he was caught speeding in the pitlane on four separate occasions during second practice in Valencia this afternoon. The Italian committed the offences all during the space of half an hour, between 14.11 and 14.44.

    On the first occurance, he was fined €600 for going 62.7 km/h, then he was fined €1,800 for being clocked at 66 km/h and finally copped a fine of €3,000 at 65.9 km/h.

    On the final occasion noticed by the stewards, Luca was measured as going 61.8 km/h, and instead of issuing a fine, he was brought to the stewards office along with a member of Ferrari. After interviewing both, Badoer was issued with a reprimand, but escaped a fine.

    How stupid. They should have got a rookie in. He’d have done a better job

    1. Oh, Tommy, don´t be so hard with the Guy. According to Joe Saward, he will be replaced by Giancarlo Fisichella next year:

      The word in F1 circles is that Force India driver Giancarlo Fisichella is hoping to land a test drive with Ferrari next year. The decision to give Luca Badoer a chance to race for Ferrari after a decade as the test driver is interpreted in F1 circles as being a sign that he will soon be moving on and Fisichella reckons that his experience in F1 is just what the red team needs.

      1. 4 Times though? A rookie would do it twice. The 3rd time you think you’d cruise out the pitlane just to be sure. How silly can you get!

        1. 4 Times though? A rookie would do it twice. The 3rd time you think you’d cruise out the pitlane just to be sure. How silly can you get!

          Its Schumi telling him to do it, push the stewards to breaking point, yeah thats its, its all Schumi’s fault.

          /sarcastic comment

          Oh, Tommy, don´t be so hard with the Guy. According to Joe Saward, he will be replaced by Giancarlo Fisichella next year:

          I heard that Ferrari want to get into the French market to beat Citreon when they release the Citreon GT.

          this is a quote from Luca DemotezomoLOL

          Breaking into the French motor industry has always been a dream of Enzo, so for next year we will relinquish one driver to make way for our newest signing Louis Renault, being a veteran of Grand Prix and the inventor of the turbo I’m sure Louis will fit right into the Ferrari family

          I’m psyched, Louis was several minutes faster than his rivals back in his day, even if he’s lost a minute or two he’ll still beat the young guns.

          1. LOL, Sush! Good one!

          2. When did I say Schumi was doing it?

        2. In autosport:

          AUTOSPORT understands that all the speeding offences were caused by Badoer readjusting from the 100km/h he is used to in testing to the 60 km/h demanded in practice, which calls for different braking distances.

    2. Would he get told he had been speeding straight away, or could it be a case of him slowing down at the same point again and again and only finding out he was speeding after the fourth time?

    3. lol it’s the only place that he’s been fast…

      they should have gone with gene or the new ferrari rookie that broke their track record the other week…

  3. Ferrari can´t gamble on this year championship. They should put a driver with much more recent racing experience, especially if the target is to end up being third. I think there is loyalty involved, and I think is important, but Badoer is definetley out of pace and he should be replaced after Valencia. It is good that they have given him the oportunity, because he really deserved at least one race. But if this weekend he doesn´t perform he should be dropped immediately. This is a a big business and Ferraris management must react in order to acheive its goals and get the extra point bonuses at the end of the year.

    1. I disagree. I think they can gamble this year far more than they could in the past few years, well decade really. They are more concerned with keeping Felipe happy and comfortable at this point. It would be far more difficult to sign some rookie for an undetermined number of races prior to Felipe coming back. Also, at least Luca knows the team and somewhat knows the car. After Shumi was out, Luca is a no brainer, even if doesn’t score a point.

      There is no chance of a rookie scoring any points at Ferrari and then happily walking away when Felipe is ready.


        1. oops, my comment was meant to be a post, not a reply to you and was directed at your comment and the ones above mentioning rookies.

          But, who are you considering….
          I just don’t really see a better ‘short’ term option.

      2. i would take the seat score more than badoer, and be happy to step aside for massa, does luca seem scared of the car?

  4. I’m just hoping that Ferrari put Badoer in there in part as a “thank you” and also in part as they knew it would only be one, maybe two, weekends until Schumacher was healthy enough to take the seat and finish the season.

    1. I think they did… this swan song to me shows Ferrari have given up on getting anything out of this year, and that’s dissapointing.

  5. Looking at some of his lines, on the comparisons, it appears to me he doesn’t have what it takes to compete at this top level anymore.

    Ferrari can’t just allow him to make up numbers if they want to take third in the championship, especially with the McLarens picking up points with results like last race, and probably more coming.

    1. Wonder if it’s because of him getting used to KERS? After all, with this year’s scarcity of testing hours, it’s not like Ferrari’s two official “test drivers” have done anything much beyond straight-line tests.

      A bit harsh to compare him against Algesuari — the latter, while a rookie, has had recent racing experience. Which, given that Marc Gene recently did well at Le Mans, really makes one wonder if this is indeed Badoer’s swansong. Gene+Valencia would seem like a perfect fit.. unless…

      Dear Lord. Perhaps Alonso asked Ferrari not to run another Spanish driver and distract his Spanish fans?

  6. apart from my jokey comment, sorry about that one!, I’m glad Luca is racing, I hope he gets some points.

    As for the Ferrari team wanting him to do better, historically Ferrari always honoured their fallen driver by not replacing him the following race, and making sure his seat is warm for when he’s ready. its typical Ferrari stuff, i don’t think they will hassle Luca.

    1. Ummm, yeah, like original choice, 7 x WDC Schumacher for example…

  7. Well, Grosjean is exactly 1.38 behind Alonso´s pace. He was in GP2 some weeks ago, so…

    1. so… what?

      1. Badoer was 1.3 seconds off Kimi Raikkonen’s pace in the second timed session.

        So the rookie is as far off the pace in practice as the grizzled tester who hasn’t raced in a decade.

  8. I don’t want to be too hard on Luca, but it seems like he’s going to be the slowest F1 driver since Yuji Ide. If he doesn’t improve in qualifying and the race I could see him being replaced by Spa or Monza.

  9. I’m personally glad to welcome Luca back in action after such a long time. You guys mentioned the most important factors regarding his return.

    Let’s examine another aspect, the last time when a Ferrari-driver had to be replaced. Mika Salo had only 2 good races with Ferrari in 1999, the others were more than forgettable, in Hungary he struggled the way Luca does now, although it was his 3rd Ferrari Grand Prix. However, that car was maybe the best one back in 1999, this years Ferrari is maybe the 3-4-5th force.

    I watched both free trainings today. It seemed to me that they don’t even care about the lap times, just want to put in as many kilometers and laps as possible, which is absolutley okay.
    He is getting used to testing purposes, not performing hot laps, so i think he is going to have a great race with reasonable pace, but won’t shine on the qualification.

    About the Fisichella-story… As far as i know he did tests for Ferrari back in 1995-96. Does anyone know something more specific about those tests, was he contracted to Ferrari as a test driver? Larini was in 1996 i guess, so maybe not. Anyone has pictures about Fisi driving a Ferrari back then?
    However, i don’t think he would join the reds testing, if the Williams loses Rosberg, there is a good chance they will pick the Italian. They would have done it for 2008, but Toyota delegated Nakajima for the engine.

    But back to the topic. No doubt that without Badoers suport in the background the Schumacher-era wouldn’t have been that successful, his technical knowledge is immence for the team. Let’s just wait till the end, i guess he has a surprise for us :)

    1. I remeber that. I think he will be fine at Monza, which is an easy and fast track. I remember that Salo had a good pace there and in Hockenheim in 99.

  10. StrFerrari4Ever
    21st August 2009, 20:15

    Personally it’s great for him to get an opportunity like this to drive for the Prancing Horse 10 years without competetive F1 racing is tough and seeing him during both Free practice sessions it’s clearly taken its toll. The lines he was taking through the corners some of them seemed awful I was just surprised at how he was 3 and a bit seconds off but in FP2 he did improve. For him I hope he improves so his thank you is memorable but if not then he could be out at Spa or Monza if Schumi says Spa one of my favourite tracks put me in i’ll do the buisness then it’s see ya Luca Bad Odour(sorry couldn’t resist) Oh and 4 times over the pit lane speed limit :O surely once or twice but not a 3rd time then 4th time and it’s not like a qualifying or race where you have to attack coming into the pits.

  11. This situation is hardly comparable to the last round with STR. Alguersauri is against another rookie. For him to beat Buemi to the line (and with neither showing any pace speak of that weekend) is quite immaterial to expecting a similar result from Badoer to Kimi freaking Raikkonen.

  12. And for the comments about speeding, does it really matter? Button sped today in free practice, clearly he is untalented and should be replaced by Bruno Senna, am I wrong?

  13. Couldn’t have Ferrari put in Nico Hulkenberg, he looks a promising young talent, and his manager was Michael Shumacher’s old manager i believe.

    1. … and contracted to Williams, and hasn’t driven a 2009 spec car since January.

      Let’s go through the possible free agents:
      – Gené: Ferrari test driver, would have been obvious, but hasn’t raced since 2005, and wasn’t impressive then
      – Badoer: got it
      – Schumacher: 2,5 half years without f1, but clearly one of the best drivers ever
      – Bourdais: yeah, why not? recent f1 experiences, drove for a Ferrari-eninged team
      – Coulthard: has absolutley nothing to do, it was rumoured in 2006 that he could grab the place the Barrichello left and finally Massa took. Doesn’t matter if he is contracted to Red Bull, as he won’t race again after that.
      – Sato and Davidson: why? why not?

      Badoer is fine… :)







        1. Sato? Davidson? Gene?

        2. Turn off caps lock?

  14. and hasn’t driven a 2009 spec car since

    At least he is better than Bad oder who hasn’t raced in 10 years and also hasn’t touched an F1 car since winter testing.

    Under Williams contract… don’t know about that!

    Anyway as you said there are other potential drivers who look to me much better than him!

    1. Badoer didn’t do any wintertesting in the F60

      1. Further evidence of how short-sighted the testing ban is..

  15. Luca is slower than even Piquet Jr.

    The Fisichella story is interesting though. The man is old. But Good. So a testing role where he needs to work only few months a year would be perfect for him. He can quietly slip into the oblivion and bring a respectable end to his racing career.

  16. Schumacher steping in was simply an ego stunt and chosing this guy to race a 2009 official Ferrari F1 car is just plain stupid – they would be better giving a shot to a look of good rookie pilots like Torro Rosso did.

    This guy is 39 (the oldest on the lot) did 50 races all with 3rd rank teams, made not even 1 point and the last race was the end of 1999 F1 season – TEN YEARS AGO…

    He might be a great test driver, but in a race we are not alone (I just hope, for what I saw today, he will be so far away back, he can’t bother nobody)

    I guess the choosing criteria was the helmet’s colour – yellow like Massa, Guidiup! Plain stupid, even coming from Ferrari.

    Just a word to ask the guys here if Alonso should be punished by the ‘situation’ with Heidfeld. The Asturian Prince is ALWAYS arrogant, and not that he is in his country he think he can do whatever he wants – lucky is he to be allowed to even be there… That guy is simply… they Heidfeld put it (in his adio com with the pits after the crash)… STUPID!

  17. Badoer has had his helmet colors ever since he’s been at Ferrari. Back when Massa was a delivery boy in Brazil.

  18. Schumacher was over 3 seconds slower in the F2007 at Mugello as the track record for the F2007. I guess Schumacher would ultimately do better than Badoer, but wasn’t on the pace right away either.

    1. You have to consider the tyres were neither 2007 nor 2009 ones.

  19. blimmin eck, give him a chance, imagine 10 years away from your job in a workplace you didnt know (ie valencia) and see how well you do!! yeah hes been testing but good on the bloke

    he can hardly be compared to algues-whatever his name is, hes like 19 and badoer is like 39!!

  20. Still don’t really understand why they didn’t choose Gene. Especially if the plan is indeed to keep Badoer in till Massa comes back.

    I doubt that will happen unless he ups the pace, but I suppose it’s only fair to give him the full weekend first and then see where to go from there…

  21. If anything, at least it proves to those armchair pundits who think they can just jump into an F1 car and do well (and I include my stupid self in that bracket) that it really isn’t anything like playing a playstation :)

  22. this article and all of our posts sure will make a lot more sense on Sunday afternoon….
    Who knows, he could crash on the first lap or win the race…

  23. Ferrari are being truly generous in spirit to Massa,

    They are only considering people who will be easy to get back out the way when Massa is back. That means oldsters. Badoer is being rewarded, because if they brought in a good rookie who kicked ass, they’d
    suddenly have a problem when Massa is ready.

    For me it is shaking my long held view of their
    win at all costs & dirty tricks. Until I remembered the Mafia take care of their own :)

    They deserve credit for their compassion – I’m pretty sure they aren’t trying to optimise their points here, and so criticising them for not picking the best pointscoring chance is misguided.

  24. Practice 3 has just finished and Badoer was last again, 1.1s slower than anyone else.

  25. Badoer “I’m not a robot or Superman. I’m human and I need time to get quick.” That made me laugh out loud. :-)

    He seems to think he will do well at Spa, we will see. If he doesn’t hes a goner I think.


  26. I’ll wait till the end of the Belgian race before passing any judgement. But it’s plainly obvious that a complete and outright testing ban doesn’t do anyone any favours.

  27. Great Post, thanks for the great Post. I will come back later , Great information about surprise locksmith : surprise locksmith

  28. Bravo Luca, keep on!

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