Luca Badoer

Luca Badoer

25/1/1971

Formula One driver who raced for the BMS Scuderia Italia, Minardi and Forti Corse teams. He graduated through the honored route of karting, in which he was Italian champion. He beat Alex Zanardi in the final round of the 1990 Italian Formula 3 Championship. In 1991 he won four races in a row, but was disqualified after a technicality concerning his tires. For 1992 he was offered a ride in Team Crypton for the F3000 Championship, in which he emerged as champion. His start in Formula One was mined by Scuderia Italia's Lola-Ferraris in 1993, which was by far the slowest car in the championship. He regularly beat experienced team-mate Michele Alboreto, but lost out to him for the second drive when Minardi bought the team. He was retained as test driver however, and took over the drive in 1995 when Alboreto retired. In the underfunded team his best results were eighth places in Canada and Hungary and ninth in Japan. In 1996 he switched to Forti Corse, where he achieved even less, returning to Minardi in 1999 after a two year spell away from Formula One, during which he had been official test driver for Ferrari. When Michael Schumacher broke his leg in an accident in Silverstone in July 1999, he thought it would be his great chance to demonstrate his excellence, but the team chose to run Mika Salo instead, a decision which former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi publically criticised. By 2000 he had achieved the dubious recognition of being the driver who had competed in the most Grands Prix (48) without achieving a single point; making it even harder on him by a gearbox failure when he was in sight of the chequered flag and a fourth place at the European GP in Nurburgring in 1999. In 2000, unable to find a fulltime Formula One drive, he made the decision of being Ferrari test driver for what was left of his career. He remains the number one test driver at Ferrari, annually completing thousands of kilometres at the Mugello and Fiorano test circuits.

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