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09 Dec 2010

Badoer bids emotional farewell to Ferrari

Luca Badoer at the Bologna Motor Show, Bologna, Italy, 8 December 2010. © Ferrari Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari F60.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 30 August 2009 Luca Badoer at the Bologna Motor Show, Bologna, Italy. © Ferrari

Luca Badoer made his last appearance as an official Ferrari test driver at the Bologna Motor Show on Wednesday. Badoer, who has been with the Italian team since 1998, took charge of a 2009-spec F60 for a demonstration run at the event, which is held annually in the Italian city.

“Even after so many years of doing it, driving a Formula One car here, so close to the spectators, so as to let them get a close up feel for the power of these cars is a feeling one never gets used to,” said the 39 year-old. “Plus, today’s experience was more emotional than usual, because it is my last appearance in my role as official Ferrari test driver.

“The thing I will miss most is driving the Formula One car. I have never been one for the bright lights, as the one and only thing I wanted centred on my job of taking a car to its limits, working out where there was room for improvement. Although this is something I have missed for quite a while now, as testing has been cut back and there is not much for a test driver to do.”

Although he had last raced for Minardi in the nineties, Ferrari chose Badoer to stand in for the injured Felipe Massa for two Grands Prix in 2009 at Valencia and Spa. The Italian, however, failed to shine at either venue, finishing 17th and 14th, and he was replaced by Giancarlo Fisichella for the rest of the season.

“The only regret is that I was only able to do two races,” said Badoer. “The team had confidence in me at that time and that is something I will always be grateful for. Unfortunately, at the time, I had not been driving for 10 months and found myself at the wheel of a car that was difficult to adapt to and so I could not show what I could do.”

Last month Ferrari confirmed that 21 year-old Jules Bianchi will take on the role of test driver for the 2011 season. Bianchi, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, finished third in the 2010 GP2 Series and took part in the recent young driver test at Abu Dhabi for the team.

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