Gene Delighted with Life at Ferrari

Spaniard Marc Gene was delighted after making his debut with the Ferrari team in testing at the Barcelona circuit on Tuesday.

Gene Delighted with Life at Ferrari

Spaniard Marc Gene was delighted after making his debut with the Ferrari team in testing at the Barcelona circuit on Tuesday.

The Catalan's move reunited him with his former Minardi teammate Luca Badoer, Ferrari's official reserve driver. The two raced together for the small Faenza-based team in 1999.

"Everything happened so fast that I haven't had the time to realize I joined the best team in the world. It's a big responsibility," Gene told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I only needed a few laps and some hours with the team to understand why they are the champions. Not even one day has gone by that I already feel at home.

"They have immediately put me in the conditions to feel comfortable. I speak Italian with the mechanics, and I know some of them as we were together at Minardi. On top of that all of this is happening here, at the circuit I know best, among my lifetime friends. It couldn't have started any better."

Gene, 30, has been employed in the same role with BMW-powered Williams for the past four years with three race appearances during that period as a stand-in for Ralf Schumacher.

"I have to thank Williams because they gave me advanced notice of their decision to change test driver, so I got in contact with the top teams and Ferrari was the first one to reply," Gene added. "I don't know why they decided this way at Williams but, looking in retrospect, they have done me a favour.

"Perhaps I could have aimed at a race seat, but I have no doubt: it's better to test for Ferrari than to race for an uncompetitive team."

The Spanish driver topped the times on his first day of work at Barcelona, and was pleased with how fast he managed to get up to speed with the Championship-winning F2004.

"It [the F2004] won't be easy to improve on it," he said. "My job will be to work especially on tyres. With the Bridgestones, for one used to Michelins, I noticed that the management of engine power is very different. When we started, at nine in the morning, I had to lap just to get to know the car.

"In truth I already felt very comfortable and at ease after 15 laps. Sometimes I would glance at that prancing horse on the steering wheel and I couldn't believe it. I hope my experience can be useful for Ferrari: until March there will be plenty of work to do."

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