Fer­rari’s Ba­doer vows to do bet­ter

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - ALAN BALD­WIN

SPA-FRAN­COR­CHAMPS, Bel­gium: Fer­rari stand-in Luca Ba­doer has promised to race for real in to­mor­row’s Bel­gian Grand Prix af­ter an unim­pres­sive For­mula One come­back in Va­len­cia last week­end.

“This week­end we are racing now,” said the 38-year-old Ital­ian, who de­clared in Spain a week ago that he was treat­ing his first race in nearly a decade as more of a test to try and get up to speed.

Ba­doer’s re­turn to For­mula One as re­place­ment for in­jured Brazil­ian Felipe Massa was a bap­tism of fire, with the Ital­ian rep­ri­manded and fined for speed­ing in the pit lane in Fri­day prac­tice be­fore qual­i­fy­ing last.

He fin­ished 17th in the race, last on the track, af­ter let­ting Re­nault’s French rookie Ro­main Gros­jean get past him in the pit­lane. As a fi­nal touch, he ran into the back of Adrian Su­til’s Force In­dia as he parked up at the fin­ish.

“It was a very hard week­end for me, too many new things to learn,” Ba­doer told re­porters in the Spa pad­dock. “The track, the car, the new For­mula One ... it was a re­ally very, very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion.

“But it was very good at the end for me be­cause from Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day I learned a lot of things ... I have more con­fi­dence with the car, I know which di­rec­tion will help for my driv­ing style for the setup,” he added.

“Now we are at a track that I know. I drove here, okay, 10 years ago, but I drove, I re­mem­ber the cor­ners and the speed more or less, I have an idea.

“Now I get much more feel­ing with the car.”

Fer­rari prin­ci­pal Ste­fano Domeni­cali made it clear that he ex­pected a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment from the driver if Ba­doer was to re­tain the seat.

Asked how close he could get to Raikko­nen, win­ner of three of the last four Bel­gian Grands Prix, the Ital­ian tried to sound op­ti­mistic. “I hope very close,” he said. “But to­mor­row we have three hours of free prac­tice and we will have a bet­ter idea.”

Luca Ba­doer ... un­der pres­sure

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