Badoer to run today at Fiorano; Lauda not impressed

Ferrari tester Luca Badoer, who will stand in for the injured Felipe Massa at the European Grand Prix in Valencia next weekend, will today test the 2009 Ferrari F60 at Fiorano.

The team have found a loophole in the testing ban allowing Badoer to test today – he will do so for ”promotional purposes”. Ferrari confirmed that the Italian’s test “will be part of a video shooting”. As such Badoer will be forced to run with some unusual settings, but nevertheless will get a feel for a car vastly different to those he has tested in recent years.

Before becoming Ferrari test driver, Badoer failed to score a single point in 48 starts in his F1 career, which lasted six years in the mid-late nineties. He became the Ferrari team’s default choice for Massa’s vacant seat after Michael Schumacher withdrew with a neck injury. But the decision to replace Massa with Badoer has drawn fire from ex-Ferrari man Niki Lauda.

“Ferrari will have only one car in Spain: for Kimi Raikkonen. Badoer will barely exist. He will not be good enough,” the Austrian said. Badoer’s age, 38, will also count against him, and there will also be a weight of expectation on his shoulders following Schumacher’s flirtation with the seat.

It would appear that Ferrari’s selection of Badoer betrays a lack of choice in the driver market. Fernando Alonso was the immediate link made to the seat, given that his Renault team are banned from the Valencia event and he is widely thought to be on his way to the Scuderia anyway. But contractual details obviously prevented such a dynamic move. The small print may also have contributed to Badoer’s getting the seat; some testers’ contracts stipulate they must be given the race seat in the event of an injury to a race driver.