Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Luca Badoer - Some infos...

Badoer set to race for Ferrari in Valencia

Following the news that Michael Schumacher has had to call off his planned return to Formula One racing, Ferrari have announced that test driver Luca Badoer has been drafted in to race at the European Grand Prix later this month.Schumacher had hoped to stand in for the injured Felipe Massa in Valenica, but neck pain caused by a motorcycle accident earlier this year, has forced him to abandon his comeback plans. "I am very unhappy that a problem means that Michael cannot return to racing," explained Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo. “In the past few days, I have appreciated his great efforts and the extraordinary motivation which had spread through the team and fans around the world. No doubt his return would have been good for Formula One and I am sure it would have seen him fighting for wins again. “In the name of Ferrari and all the fans, I wish to thank him for the strong attachment he displayed for the team in these circumstances. In agreement with (team principal) Stefano Domenicali, we have therefore decided to give Luca Badoer the chance to race for the Scuderia after he has put in so many years of hard work as a test driver."Badoer has tested for the Italian team since 1998 and last raced in a Grand Prix back in 1999 for Minardi.

Luca Badoer (born January 25, 1971) is an Italian Formula One driver who has raced for the Scuderia Italia, Minardi and Forti Corse teams, and is presently a test driver for the Ferrari F1 team.
Badoer was born in Montebelluna, Veneto.
Prior to reaching Formula One, he graduated through the time-honoured route of karting, in which he was Italian champion. He beat Alex Zanardi in the final round of the 1990 Italian Formula 3 Championship. In 1991 he won four races in a row, but was disqualified after a technicality concerning his tyres. For 1992 he was offered a ride with Team Crypton for the F3000 Championship, in which he emerged as champion.
His debut Formula One season in 1993 was mired by Scuderia Italia's uncompetitive Lola chassis, which, despite Ferrari engines, was the slowest car in the championship in terms of qualifying pace. He regularly beat his experienced team-mate Michele Alboreto, but lost out to him for the second drive when Scuderia Italia merged with Minardi for the 1994 season. He was retained as test driver however, and took over the drive in 1995 when Alboreto retired. In the underfunded team his best results were eighth places in Canada and Hungary and ninth in Japan. In 1996 he switched to Forti Corse, where he was only able to qualify for six of the ten races the team entered, which folded after that year's British Grand Prix.

In 1997 Badoer began his long spell as Ferrari's test driver, a role he continues to perform. He returned to racing for one season in 1999, with the Minardi team. In the July of that season, Ferrari's number one driver Michael Schumacher broke his leg in an accident at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. As Ferrari's test driver, Badoer expected to be promoted to the race seat in Schumacher's absence, but the team opted for Mika Salo instead, prompting criticism from former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi.
Badoer holds the dubious distinction of being the driver who has competed in the most Grands Prix (48) without scoring a single point. He nearly achieved his first points finish in the 1999 European Grand Prix when a strong drive saw Badoer lying in 4th place with only 13 laps remaining. Unfortunately the gearbox on his Minardi subsequently failed and television cameras showed Badoer weeping by his car.

Badoer was unable to find a satisfactory race seat in Formula One after 1999, and he became a permanent test driver for Ferrari. He covers thousands of kilometres at the Mugello and Fiorano test circuits each year and it is likely that Badoer has driven more kilometres in a Ferrari F1 car than any other Italian in history.
At the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, Badoer demonstrated one of the team's 2005 cars in the centre of the stadium, revving the engine, and performing several doughnuts, creating a large cloud of tyre smoke, and leaving circular black marks on the white platform. The event was witnessed by millions of television viewers worldwide.

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