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Badoer last again but talks up his Monza chances
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Badoer last again but talks up his Monza chances
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Aug 2009   |  10:23 pm GMT  |  46 comments

Ferrari super-sub Luca Badoer crawled in last today for the second race in a row at the Belgian Grand Prix, 102 seconds behind his team mate and the winner of the race, Kimi Raikkonen. But afterwards he spoke of his plans for the next race at Monza, where he believes he will put in a truly competitive showing.

Picture 23
It was a day when the importance of having both cars scoring points was underlined again. Ferrari was able to open up a 12 point lead over McLaren in their intense fight for third place in the championship. This battle is set to go right down to the final race in Abu Dhabi and with the Ferrari proving competitive enough for Raikkonen to score 24 points in the last three races, the need to have a second car backing him up is obvious.

“This weekend generally was positive and I have much more experience than in Valencia,” said Badoer. “Now I feel like I have always been racing in F1″

“With this race now, I’m ready. I feel comfortable, I have a good feeling for the car and I think Monza will be a good result.

Badoer went with a one-stop strategy today, which meant that the opening dozen laps or so would necessarily be quite slow. But thereafter the other one-stoppers got quickly into the groove, lapping in the 1m 48s and 1m 49s. Badoer was not able to match that pace, setting only five sub 1m 50 laps in the entire race, all of which were 1m 49s. As a comparison the next slowest man, Kazuki Nakajima, did 20 laps in the sub 1m 50s of which half were in the low 1m 48s.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali refused to be drawn on whether Badoer’s future is now behind him, saying that much would depend on the medical checks on Felipe Massa tomorrow in Florida. If they show that he can make a comeback this season then the picture with regard to Fisichella is complicated, as Force India are understood to be reluctant to demote Tonio Liuzzi back to test driver after a few outings.

“The most important thing is to consider what is best for our side,” said Domenicali. “With regard to what we will do for the next races, we will tell you in three days. For sure Ferrari does not want to be last in the race. But as we said we need to put on the table all the considerations and then as soon as we have taken the decision we will keep you informed. We want to be strong as a team, as a driver and as a brand.”

Even Ferrari’s closest friends would say that the decision to run Badoer was a poor one and although he would probably put up his strongest showing to date at Monza, he clearly isn’t capable of running near the front, where a race winning Ferrari should be in front of the tifosi. It was an emotional decision to put him there, of the kind we haven’t seen from the team since the early 1990s, but it now needs a pragmatic decision to replace him with the best driver available, which is clearly Fisichella.

Of Fisichella’s performance this weekend, the Ferrari boss said, “He was performing fantastically and was pushing Kimi. He is a driver who seems to be very fast.”

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46 Comments
  1. just someone says:

    Er…Badoer wasn’t last in Valencia

    1. krad says:

      of the finishers he was in both races

  2. Sam98 says:

    Is Fisichella really available? Surely he’s under contract? Before this weekend I’d have thought they’d be happy to rent him out for a few races bringing in much needed revenue – but the signs are that he’ll earn them just as much by being in the Force India for the next few races.

    And of course, there’s the question of which lucky driver gets the Force India seat?

    On a separate point James – Ferrari’s plan to get three cars on the grid: Is this a ploy to bypass the budget cap? I’m guessing the plan will be for three cars to have a budget cap of 1.5x the norm? But three cars won’t actually cost more to develop. Seems a clever way of increasing the development pot to me.

  3. Tengil says:

    Ferrari could make a fortune selling bookends with Kimi and Luca on them ;)

  4. Cabby says:

    There is no real testing, so there are no real test drivers. A reserve driver seems to be someone driving a different car in a different championship. It is a pity that Ferrari have to put a loyal team member in a position to be eaten up alive in the lions den, they should have sorted out this problem long ago with having a possibility of taking up a TR driver in case of emergency, it is a team failure, and not Badoers fault.

  5. artorwar says:

    Will Vijay let Fisi go? Thats what I struggle with in this situation. I mean Luca has been amazingly slow but I think he was given a poison chalice (although lets be honest, if Stefano called any of us who would say no?) I hope that Felipe can get himself back together but he has taken a huge knock. I think Ferrari should look inside for a solution, I know they are not keen on a young driver but what a fairy tale it would be if one of the Italian nippers could pull out a points finish at home, dream time. We shall see…..

  6. Steven Luftman says:

    One would wonder if going to Ferrari is the best move for Fisichella. I doubt there would be a job or him next year at Ferrari, chances are, and Force India would probably not take him back next year. I think for all involved the best move for Ferrari would be to hire Piquet or Sebastian Bordeaux, as they are the only drivers available with race experience with this years cars–they should both welcome the opportunity, and could be disposed of if either Massa or Shumi became available.

  7. Werewolf says:

    I cannot believe Ferrari could leave Luca Badoer in the car for Monza. If they do, Badoer may as well change his nationality because Italy will surely disown him.

    The Force India situation must be tricky, irrespective of Massa’s return date. So far as I am aware, Vitantonio Liuzzi has little more knowledge than Badoer of this year’s cars and is, therefore, highly unlikely to be anything like as useful as Fisichella in what the team now believe to be a very competitive package. The potential terms of release have changed for all parties.

  8. Roland says:

    “When he’s turned on, he can REALLY do it” – Legard on Raikkonen.

  9. Steve says:

    Badoer is living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks he’s ready for Monza… may be on a PS3 he is…..

  10. BMW boy says:

    Ferrari super-sub????

  11. Spenny says:

    It was ironic that Raikkonen won the race using a technique that was so acrimoniously argued about last year – leaving the track to gain an advantage.

    Kimi deliberately left the track at the first corner, not to avoid a collision, but to avoid a pack of cars ahead – Brundle in his commentary suggested it was a pre-planned move.

    Though he went the long way round (I don’t think he gained any places), he was then able to gain momentum, and possibly even press his KERS button and take places up the hill.

    If he had stayed on the track, he would have been impeded by the cars in front, and would not have had a free run.

    By Ferrari’s own argument from last year, he should have waited a corner until overtaking to annul any advantage.

    In the past, the run-off has more or less been an unofficial part of the track, but now with the obvious green strip, it is harder to justify.

    On the restart, I think Fisi just let Kimi get too close and his inexperience of when to make a dash meant that he left it too late. Still, wasn’t it great to see him put together a faultless drive after his reputation was tarnished by poor performances at Renault?

    One of the best races of the season – but it makes the teams look a bit stupid as nobody seemed to understand why their cars were good or bad.

    1. Antoine says:

      My point Exactly… :-(

    2. silverstoned says:

      But Spenny, we hear it is all so easy with that Kers button remember? so even if he had followed the pack up the hill he would just have picked them off one after another by a simple push of the thumb on that little button. Or so we are told!!
      Souldn’t be allowed is what we’ll hear next, I shouldn’t wonder

      1. Spenny says:

        I love KERS and the only trouble with it is that either they should either have encouraged Mercedes to supply all the teams as a “well done, you made it work” or made it more powerful as per the ill-fated cost capped regs to force people down that path.

        After one lap, Fisi should have eeked out a lead as in retrospect he was faster so Kimi would not have been able to get him – was it 3 tenths faster over the lap without KERS – it was just the opportunity of the restart. Indeed, Fisi had got away from Kimi before the SC.

      2. …or maybe just not have it at all..?

    3. Red Kimi says:

      “Fisi just let Kimi get too close and his inexperience of when to make a dash meant that he left it too late.”

      Fisi is not inexperienced at that… just watch Suzuka ’05… Kimi made the same move on Fisi to win the race there…. This time Kimi decided to eat him up earlier than the last lap.

  12. Even if Massa races this year, surely Badoer won’t be around in Monza right? Badoer should bow out as gracefully as possible. Luca should just take the initiative and say he can’t do it…

  13. Nico says:

    “it now needs a pragmatic decision to replace him with the best driver available, which is clearly Fisichella.”

    Clearly Fisichella? What happened to reality James? These guys do not have drives next year as of now, and I’m sure would finish the year with Ferrari if offered the chance.

    Trulli
    Glock
    Kubica
    Heidfeld

    1. James says:

      None of those are really available or necessarily as interested as Fisichella. Those drivers arent at the end of their F1 careers either (well, in theory…), whereas Fisichella is. He himself has said that driving for Ferrari is every Italian’s dream.

      1. Aaron Shearer says:

        Trulli is pretty close to the end of his F1 career. He’s wanting 2 years at Toyota but in reality he’ll be lucky to get one, with the uncertainty of the team.

      2. Nico says:

        And he is not the only Italian without a drive next year. This build up behind Fisichella has such a bandwagoning feel, and is incredibly ironic in my opinion considering how harshly (rightly or not) he’s been dealt with by the press in the past.

        Anyway, I’m sure we will find out soon, one thing’s for sure it has been a great season for suspense!

        Nico.

  14. A.Zeb says:

    I think its nice they have given Luca a chance, but I think they really need to get a better driver in the seat.
    Ok it would be a dream for Fisi but then with a possible Massa comeback it would be perhaps a fruitless excersize.

    Perhaps let Luca run his last race in Monza and then if Massa is well, bring him back to get him race ready again for next year.

    For Luca or Fisi a Ferrari drive at Monza is a dream come true. Good Luck gents.

  15. The Italians are running the show now, resulting in this type of madness. I have always been a Ferrari supporter (well since the mid-90s when I started watching F1), but this is unacceptable. They had so many other options, drivers who would have loved to drive a car capable of challenging for podiums: Rosberg, Kubica and Piquet to name just a few. Utter madness.

  16. Henri says:

    I for one would love to see Badoer race in Monza…it’s good to see a red car slower by 40 sec than the 2nd last car!!

  17. Ben Bailey says:

    “Replace him with the best driver available, which is clearly fisichella”
    Sorry, that last race i saw Fisi came in a terrific 2nd for Force India and has a contract with them for the rest of the year. So how does that make him avliable? Fisi has also had a very up and down year and career failing to make the most of previouse competative drives so how does that make him the best driver?
    A lot of hype about a one off result im afraid… It’ll probably happen!

  18. Webber Fan says:

    Come on Ferrari I think you’ve repaid Badoer’s loyalty by allowing him to compete (I use that word losely) in two GP’s. Time to give someone else a go. I would love to see Loeb or Rossi if their sechedule permitted, I think Bernie wouldnt mind either, F1 could do with a boost. F1 needs some personalities.

  19. Paul Mc says:

    James,

    In terms of finances, would there be a huge difference in Ferrari finishing 3rd compared to 4th?

    1. Racing not politics says:

      every place up the manufacturers’ table is worth about US$2.5m according to Eddie Jordan on the coverage this weekend

  20. David Perel says:

    I think Ferrari need to stop embarrassing themselves and make up their minds. It’s as clear as day that Badoer won’t race in Monza, so why does the team even allow him to say such things to the press? It’s becoming a joke.

    James do you know if they will change the rules next year to allow for maybe 3 scheduled test weekends over the year? Throwing a driver into the deep end like what is happening at the moment is clearly not a good idea.

  21. john says:

    James very good performance on italian RAI tv yesterday.
    But you projected Raikkonen to have 2 more laps of fuel than Fisichella whereas they had exactly the same fuel load at the start of race.

    1. James Allen says:

      No, they had 7 kilos difference, the strategy sheet I showed projected them to be lap 11 Fisi and Lap 13 Kimi as did most people. Fisi saved more fuel behind the safety car and the Merc was more fuel efficient generally around there.

      1. Thomas says:

        James do you think this figure could be slightly exaggerated due to the fact that Fisi was faster and thus ran his engine a little below the absolute top speed while Kimi was pushing his to the maximum?

  22. A.Zeb says:

    If they don’t go for Fisi then whats wrong with drivers who are avaialable?

    Bourdais, Piquet both have been racing F1 this year and would do better then Luca. ok these drivers may not win but they are fit, available and able to deliver a better result then last place, thats for certain.

    I am sure Davidson or Sato would make a better show of it then what we have seen with Luca.

    Sorry Luca you have had your chance.

  23. Josef says:

    I don’t really think Badoer can be called a “super sub”. Unless it’s a kind of sandwich you mean.

  24. Andrew Halliday says:

    Was just reading about Fisi’s potential move and how Liuzzi would probably cover his Force India seat and had an idea; If Fisi is possibly going to be racing again next year with Force India they may want him to stay in the seat for the remainder of this year. That means Liuzzi could be given a temporary Ferrari drive until the end of the year. It’s an Italian in a Ferrri but not throwing someone new in at the deep end, Liuzzi has race experience…

  25. silverstoned says:

    James, I’m ready to take that drive in Monza just as a one off. All they got to do is call…

  26. ati says:

    This has turned into a poisonous gift from Ferrari to Badour. His entire career has been wasted with this, annihilated.

    He definitely isn’t up for the job, even he knows it but he is trying to save face…being Italian and all. He seems like a really nice guy, that’s why many are holding back to say it, but he is just an embarrasment.

    Luca Badour pronounced as ‘look at how bad i drive’ or ‘look how bad you are’.

  27. Thomas says:

    Entertaining readings aside – Ferrari has a big problem. However – it could be solved by Piquet jr, Bourdais or Hulkenberg whom Williams said they would be happy to lend them Hulkenberg.

    However Ferrari is probably less than keen on Nico Hulkenberg, given his connection with Williams.

    But Bourdais or Piquet are both sound alternatives. I would probably go for Piquet given that Bourdais seems to cry every time he sees a camera, and Piquet is probably the faster of the two.

  28. Roz says:

    I thought Luca said he would be on form this weekend? Now he will be on form for the next weekend because he’s driven the track lots of times? What about the tracks after that he hasn’t? I don’t think anyone here expects him to be battling for the podium, but for goodness sake, he is last through merit, he is useless. They might as well not run the car.

    Yes, it’s half Ferrari’s fault through not having a proper reserve, but he was average at best back in the day, and now through lack of driving he’s even worse.

  29. Simon Benedict says:

    Ferrari super-sub? I think you should have said sub-sub!

  30. Ben Dziekan says:

    Although much talk has surrounded the ill-affects of KERS and its artificial racing, with many people citing Raikkonen’s pass on Fisichella as such as example, I think it is quite unfair to suggest that Kimi would not have simply been able ot pass Fisi on the restart anyway, without KERS.

    Kimi was very attentive under SC, so much so that he was already right on Fisi going into Les Combes, and could arguably have had a look there, instead choosing to weight for the “magic button” on the straight. Irrespective of this, it is likely Kimi would have simply held the slipstream of Fisi and passed him up the straight…

    This was another example of Fisi sleeping at crutial moments, and Kimi taking them: Remember Suzuka 2007?

  31. Rudy Pyatt says:

    As always, F1 overlooks the simple solution.

    Current “young driver” programs are too haphazard. Enough of this “we’ll reward you with a test at the end of the season.” Keep it simple. Every F1 team should have an F3, F2 and GP2 affiliate, PERIOD. They do NOT need to own those teams; it’s enough if they have an agreement/contract with each of these allowing the F1 team to call up those drivers, if needed, during the season. Make it possible by eliminating the requirement to designate an official reserve driver.

    Other sports provide ready models. I don’t know as much about soccer (football; I think there’s a similar system), but in baseball, they have A (lowest), AA, and AAA affiliated minor league teams. These teams are playing their own seasons concurrent with the major leagues. When the big club needs bodies, they “call players up from down on the farm.” It’s been the system for about a century now. The idea is to have players ready for the major leagues available on demand. For a better description of the baseball minor league system, see

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_league_baseball

    And so to F1: At all times your F1 team should be in touch with, and monitor the talent in, their farm teams.

    I suppose F1 teams try to do this. But they need to formalize and streamline, as per above, to make a reliable, consistent system. What will McLaren do if something happens to Hamilton: Pull a Badoer with de la Rosa? Call Paffet from the DTM? Go for recent “fireees” a la Piquet and Bourdais? Or try to rent a driver from another team, as Ferrari is allegedly trying to do now with Fisi? Too haphazard, too complicated.

    Start farming.

    1. Adrian says:

      I like your idea and think it is a good one.

      Though I have one question: What would be wrong with bringing Paffet in from DTM??

      1. Rudy Pyatt says:

        Thanks! And there’s nothing wrong with bringing in Paffet at all! Actually, he would be a good test case. He’s been racing, but in a different kind of car. Give him a “rehab start” in AAA to let him retune his single-seater technique. Easiest way to do it? Put him into the GP2 round running the same weekend, on the same track, as the F1 round.

        Guys double up this way all the time in NASCAR (run the Nationwide race and the Cup race on the same weekend, in similar, but not identical, cars) and in USAC (ditto, tripling up in their case by running Silver Crown, Sprint and Midget races at the same weekend).

  32. john g says:

    didn’t badoer say somethign similar after valencia? he’s just plainly not good enough. liuzzi, klien, sato, davidson. any of these would be quicker.

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