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Badoerwatch: Ferrari doesn’t sugar the pill this time
Badoerwatch: Ferrari doesn’t sugar the pill this time
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Aug 2009   |  6:24 pm GMT  |  17 comments

Episode two of one of Formula 1’s most bizarre soap operas takes place this weekend as Luca Badoer attempts to show the bosses at Ferrari that he has the right stuff to remain a Ferrari race driver for the rest of the season, or until Felipe Massa is fit to return.
Picture 23

Today he finished 20th and last again, some two seconds off the pace and this time Ferrari didn’t wrap him up in cotton wool to the same extent as in Valencia when it came to writing their press release. This is the opening sentence;

“Once again, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro ran their day on two fronts. On the one hand, there was Kimi Raikkonen setting the third fastest time of the day, on the other, Luca Badoer was again at the tail end of the field.”

Raikkonen looks really quick this weekend and a study of the long run times shows that the car is a match for anything except the Red Bulls.

A little later on in the press release, there is a quote from Stefano Domenicali which says “Furthermore, we have seen how close it is, with nineteen drivers all within just over one second of one another.” You don’t need to be Einstein to read between the lines there.

They go on to say that Luca ‘gained experience’ and ‘made a step forward’ today. Domenicali sounds like my old physics teacher at school when he writes, “We expect to see him continue to improve throughout the weekend.”

Looking at Badoer’s long run performance, he did a six lap run with times in the mid to low 1m 50s and then another run which started with two laps in the 1m 49s and then 1m 50s.

In comparison you look at Romain Grosjean, who is also in his second race weekend to see what a top GP2 driver can do in an F1 car with no testing. Grosjean set the fifth fastest time of the day in 1m 47.3 and his long runs are mainly in the high 1m 48s.

As I posted yesterday, I don’t think that Ferrari will stick a young driver in the car for Monza and beyond for two reasons; they need to be sure that the second driver will score points and they believe that it would blow a young driver’s mind to suddenly find themselves racing a Ferrari at Monza.

However there was a lovely cameo in the pits this morning, spotted by my old mate Ted Kravitz, where Jules Bianchi was steered by his manager Nicholas Todt into the Ferrari garage during practice and was seen talking to engineers. He was ushered out by Ferrari press officer Luca Colajanni, who was concerned about how the scene would be interpreted.

Bianchi’s interest is the young driver programme and it seems that Ferrari may well announce it in Monza, with three drivers. I think Bianchi may be one, Mirko Bortolotti another and I’m not sure who the third might be yet. It is noticeable that there are a lot of young drivers and their managers being introduced around the paddock this weekend.

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Ferrari’s season is all but done, Badoer has had his shot.Last in prac at Spa.(says it all).

We armchair racers are a fickle bunch.

Fingers crossed, Massa gets the all clear soon.

Would it now be politically correct to give Gene a shot for Monza?

The Fisi rumour sounds great(he’d fulfill a dream and bag a few points) but what about 2010? Ferrari’s 3rd driver?, surely there’s a race seat available with 3 rookie teams on the grid.

James, would it be beyond Ferrari to approach someone like, ie: Marco Andretti?(assuming Andretti’s interested and quick enough of course)in a test role for a year with a view to a race seat.

KR or MW for the win this weekend.


Considering how the last Andretti did in F1, I doubt that’s a good idea at all!


Very interesting observations on the young drivers, James. I guess this will be a test for the relevance of F2 also: Will any team look there for talent, or is it too new for them to trust?

Paige Michael-Shetley

Given that F2 is mainly populated by guys who didn’t do the business in GP2, it’s got a ways to go.


“Domenicali sounds like my old physics teacher at school when he writes, “We expect to see him continue to improve throughout the weekend.””

Good to know that you had to put the effort in over the weekends when you were of school age James. It has obviously stood you in good stead for your chosen occupation!

It is interesting that all the talk of family has taken less than a week to slip away to reveal the true nature of an F1 team.

James, you mention that Grosjean was fairing better and I am reminded of the post last week about the differing attitudes to the new comers form their respective number one drivers. Do you think that if Raikkonen had been more helpful that Badoer would be fairing better?


Let’s not go there again..!

Ted the Mechanic

I wouldn’t want F1 without Ferrari and obviously F1 would lose a huge amount of prestige without Ferrari.

The Michael Schumacher comeback was the story of the year for me. But this Luca Badoer chapter has rapidly degenerated into the farce of the decade and the fact that it was allowed to be serialized at Spa only serves to bring into question the decision-making process at Ferrari.

As far as I’m concerned there was never any doubt that Badoer would still be crap at Spa. How good could Ferrari be without these sort of mindless misjudgments and what else are they compromising through bad decision-making?

Bring on Alonso! Ferrari needs him. He will restore the Schumacheristic behaviour they are currently lacking. If they can get Fernando, Michael and Felipe working together for the common good of the prancing horse then great things will occur…


I reckon after this saga either Badoer or Ferrari will call time on his career. Ferrari really need to consider getting Liuzzi, Piquet, Bourdais, Davidson or Fisi on board. They all have more recent experience in an F1 car than Badoer and all would jump at the chance to get into a Ferrari. They probzbly wouldnt set the world on fire, but they’ll at least be competing for a point or two at race weekends, which Ferrari so dearly need in order to meet their target and finish third.


Even though there’s a lot of talk about Fisi, I cant understand why force India would let him do it. If they did who would they replace him with? Nobody seems to have mentioned that. I think Davidson would be best on your list, the advatage he has other than his talent is that he isnt tarnished in anyway, as he always looked good and was never dropped by a team. However Liuzzi is Italian.

What do you think James?


I think they would let him go, it’s nearly the end of his career, they have Liuzzi who could do with an outing and I don’t think they would want to stand in his way.


Is that because they look like dropping him next season, or the team possibly folding


Well impeccable timing by Fisi to pull that performance out


Tonio Liuzzi would do a good job for ferrari as Badoer is not up to it.

Do you think Kimi will be in the ferrari next year James?


I seem to remember you posting, James, that it was Luca Di Montezemolo who gave Badoer the drive. Do you have any idea whether Stefano Domenicali supported this? I’m wondering whether the press release subtext reflects disappointment in the driver of frustration with management.

I really wish Badoer no ill but this situation is not good for F1. Even the title of this thread hints at its absurd nature. What’s the Italian for ‘meritocracy’?


Raikkonen was his fastest in sectors 1 and 3, and slowest in sector 2. This indicates a low down force setup, I think. Maybe they’ll be able to put a bit more wing on to gain more in sector 2, while not compromising 1 & 3. Although, Ferrari may have set it up like this for overtaking chances in the race.

Racing not politics

Let’s just hope the FIA come to some arrangement that allows driver familiarisation (as opposed to testing) for these youngsters.

Saying that, Grosjean managed 5th fastest today so perhaps it’s not actually needed.


Stick Fisichella in the car. It’s the best option and the guy deserves the drive at Monza.

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