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Badoer set to race for Ferrari in Valencia 11 Aug 2009

Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari. Formula One Testing, Day Three, Barcelona, Spain, 11 March 2009. Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Algarve Motor Park, Portimao, Portugal, 16 December 2008.  
  
(L to R): Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari Test Driver with Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 29 March 2009

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 back in 1999 for Minardi. Although he has started 48 Grands Prix, the 38 year-old is yet to score a world championship point.