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Official: Badoer to replace Schumacher

NEWS STORY
11/08/2009

Following the news that Michael Schumacher is not in a position to replace Felipe Massa, Ferrari has announced that Luca Badoer will drive the second Maranello car at Valencia and beyond.

Announcing the decision, team president Luca di Montezemolo said: "I am very unhappy that a problem means that Michael cannot return to racing. In the past few days, I could appreciate his great efforts and extraordinary motivation which had spread through the team and fans around the world. No doubt his return would have been good for Formula 1 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 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."

In terms of F1, Badoer, F3000 champion in 1992 - winning the series at the first attempt - last raced in 1999 when he drove the Fondmetal Minardi-Ford, his best result being 8th in the San Marino GP. That same year however, though test driver for Ferrari, it was Mika Salo who was called in to replace Michael Schumacher when the German was injured in the British Grand Prix.

Prior to that, Badoer, who made his F1 debut with BMS Scuderia Italia in 1993, also drove for the ill-fated Forti Grand Prix in 1996, following a season with Minardi Scuderia Italia in 1995. In 48 GP outings he has failed to score a single point.

When he lines up on the grid at Valencia later this month, Badoer, who was Italian Kart Champion in 1988, will be the oldest driver. The 38 year old virtually twice the age of Toro Rosso newcomer Jaime Alguersuari.

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