Stefano Domenicali has confirmed that Luca Badoer will race for Ferrari at next weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, despite finishing in a lowly seventeenth place in Valencia.
The Ferrari team boss said that Badoer had drove a satisfactory race and was in much better shape for the next round of the world championship.
Badoer himself was also happy with his performance, despite colliding with Renault’s Romain Grosjean and serving a drive-through penalty for crossing the white line on the pit exit.
Kimi Raikkonen continued his strong form with third in the race. Pipping McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen during the final round of pitstops.
Kimi Raikkonen, 3rd: “I am happy about this result. Already on Friday we saw that the car was pretty competitive over a distance and we therefore thought we could fight for a podium finish. We were also aware that, in qualifying, we might have struggled, especially on light fuel. Both these predictions proved correct and today we were once again able to get on the podium. I managed to make up a few places at the start and my first aim was to pull out a bit of a gap over Rosberg, who was going to stop after me. In the second part of the race, I realized that I could close on Kovalainen and try and make the most of the run of pit stops to get ahead of him and I managed it. Now we go to Spa, a track that I like a lot: we must wait for Friday to see how competitive we can be. At this point in the season, if we manage to get everything right, then we can aim for the podium and if anything was to happen to those ahead of us, we can try and do even better. We must do all we can to hang on to third place in the Constructors championship.â€
Luca Badoer, 17th: “I said when I arrived in Valencia that this Grand Prix would be a time for me to dust the rust off my back and get confident in the role of race driver again. It was important for me to complete so many kilometres without making any serious mistakes and I managed that. From the physical point of view, I feel fine and that is another cause for satisfaction. I got a good start, making up a few places but then I was hit by Grosjean and that dropped me back down again. I tried to run my own race, but it was not easy to maintain a consistent pace, especially when I had to let the leaders by. At the first pit stop, I made a mistake which cost me one place and then I was just a whisker over the white line and so I picked up a drive-through penalty. Now I am looking forward to Spa with confidence: it s a track I know and I will also be able to count on the experience gained this weekend. Thanks to the whole team, who did everything they could to make me feel comfortable, without putting me under any pressure and to Michael, who was a great support throughout the weekend.â€
Stefano Domenicali: “Today we did the maximum with Kimi, who drove an amazing race to make it to the podium once again. He was very competitive throughout the race, pushing at the decisive moments, at the start and then when the opportunity arose to get ahead of Kovalainen. Luca managed to finish the race, thus completing this learning weekend, which served as an introduction course prior to tackling the Belgian weekend in the best way possible, next weekend. Clearly, considering our choices and those of other teams in terms of developing this year s car, our aim of maintaining third place in the Constructors classification is becoming harder. For our part, we will give it our best shot, knowing that in some races we can expect to be more competitive than in others and we will have to be ready to exploit every opportunity that arises.â€
Chris Dyer: “We are pleased with Kimi s third place, which represents the most we could aspire to today. Driver, team, car: all these elements came together in the best possible way and the result confirms it. As for Luca, it was another difficult day in an equally difficult weekend. However, it should be stressed how much he improved, continuously day by day, lap after lap. We are confident that he will find himself in much better shape next weekend in Belgium.â€