Q & A with Luca Badoer
|By Jonathan Noble||Saturday, August 29th 2009, 17:39 GMT|
Q. Can you describe qualifying for us?
Luca Badoer: In the very good laps I found traffic. One time I think it was Kazuki Nakajima and the other time... it was my last chance with the perfect car, a last lap with a good set-up. So the mistake was the biggest problem. We saw this morning that it was possible to pass Q1, because we calculated everything and the lap time was reasonable. Unfortunately for many reasons this afternoon we couldn't do it and for this I am a bit sad.
Q. How much pressure are you feeling, given the rumours about Giancarlo Fisichella?
LB: Why should I feel under pressure. It is very hard. And anyway Fisichella is my friend, and anyway I don't think he is the Ferrari programme. But for this question, as I said before, it is Ferrari that choose the drivers so it is better you ask the team.
Q. How confident are you that you will be on the grid at Monza after the past two weekends?
LB: For me Monza is special. It is my home track and I have the lap record there in Formula 1. And like Mugello and Fiorano, it is the track that I have spent the most time in my life. For sure in Monza I will have the big step that everybody is waiting for.
Q. But how confident are you that you will be there?
LB: We will see tomorrow. It is important to have a good race tomorrow but it is not as if Ferrari are talking for me not to be there.
Q. How frustrating is it to not be able to show your full potential and to know that people are talking about how slow you are? Is it upsetting you?
LB: It is very frustrating, because in a way it was my dream to drive for Ferrari. But if I had this pleasure two years ago it would have been a completely different situation because two years ago I was driving so much the car. The comparison with the race drivers was very close, so it was the perfect solution. Unfortunately you can't choose everything in life and this opportunity came in the worst period for me because it is 10 months since I last drove an F1 car. Anyway I am very happy to have this chance, even though the performances are not very good. But I am sure if I have the possibility to do more races, I'm sure that I can improve.
Q. Do you have any regrets about being called up to race for Ferrari?
LB: I'm very happy. Apart from the press. The only problem for me, and for the team, is the press. Ninety per cent have written really bad things. And so for me there is no point because I don't read the newspapers, so everybody can read what they want. But the people around can be influenced by this, so I don't like it for this. Apart from the press I am very happy at this moment, because I drive for Ferrari and I drive in F1. I'm improving every time and I know how difficult it is. Other drivers came to me and said 'we know how difficult it is'. And so for me it is really a good period, a good moment, press apart.
In a way no because I am improving. If you take my first lap in Valencia and my last lap in Spa it is a big improvement. And for sure by tomorrow night there will be another big improvement. So for me, even the qualifying is a good step. It's slowly, but it is the way.
Q. If you look at the history of Ferrari, it has never happened that one of its drivers has qualified last two races in a row.
LB: There is always a first time. So this is the first time. It is also the first time that we have had a situation like this.
Q. What is the difference for you and a regular driver in this position?
LB: First of all I have to say that the performance of the test driver has to be very close to the performance of the official driver, and it was like this for 10 years. The pressure you have in the race is very different. On the testing, everything is more relaxed with less pressure. You do much more work, but with much more car. Because at the end of the test I did minimum 500km in a day - so it is much more work than a race weekend. For this I think in my case if we had free test, but the situation as it was two years ago, I can test for one day and I could do 500-600km, for sure it was much better.
But everything that I can improve and learn I have to do in the race weekend so it becomes very much more difficult. We don't have a lot of km and we don't have a lot of time. This is the biggest problem.