Struggling Badoer asks for patience

Luca Badoer has called for patience after struggling at the bottom of the times during qualifying for the European Grand Prix

Struggling Badoer asks for patience

The Italian, replacing Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, qualified last, nearly three seconds off the pace set by Jenson Button in the first qualifying segment.

He was also 1.5 seconds slower than his closest rival.

Badoer, racing for the first time since 1999, admitted he is still getting to grips with the car and the track, and asked for people to have patience.

"It was on the range that we expected," Badoer told reporters. "I'm tired of repeating always the same thing, but it's been 10 months since I drove a Formula 1 car.

"And this track is new for me and it's very difficult. So our expectation was more or less where we are today. I need to drive, to get confidence with the car.

"I ask you to be patient, because I'm not a robot or Superman. I'm human and I need time to get quick.

"I'm sure that I will be back. I was quicker one year ago. But I need to take confidence with the car, with the new system in the steering... I just need more time."

The 38-year-old Italian insisted he is treating the grand prix weekend simply as a test.

"For me this is just a test. To improve the feeling with the car and with the team," he said.

He added: "Obviously to be last is not something you want, but it was in the range. We didn't expect to pass the first part of qualifying. I'm not happy, but I'm happy because I'll have another chance on tracks where I have more experience."

Badoer is adamant, however, that he will be stronger next weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix, where he will know the track and the car.

"Spa I know the circuit. I will know the car after this race, so for sure I will be in a better condition."

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