Luca Badoer (born 25 January 1971 in Montebelluna, Veneto, Italy) is a retired Formula One driver who drove for Lola, Forti and Minardi as well as testing and starting two races for Ferrari between 1993 to 2010. During his career, Badoer entered 58 F1 races, starting 50, but failed to score any points. He is the the most experienced driver in F1 to have never scored a World Championship point.
Badoer began his racing career in karts like most race drivers, he made his first step to the higher leagues in 1988 where he won the Italian Karting Championships that year and the following in 1989. In 1990 he was signed for the Trivellato team in the Italian Formula 3 Championship, after a closely contended season between him and Alex Zanardi for the title, Badoer clinched victory in the last race he repeated this feat in 1991 until he was signed for Crypton Engineering in Formula 3000 where yet again he won the title.
With these outstanding results in the past 5 years an F1 drive was inevitable for Badoer, as he was signed for Scuderia Italia's Lola team for 1993, alongside Michele Alboreto. Badoer was expected to be a quick driver after his results in Formula 3000, however the Lola chassis was evidently extremely uncompetitive upon arriving at the first race and both Alboreto and Badoer would struggle.
The South African Grand Prix was the first venue of the season. The Lola cars struggled significantly in both speed and reliability. Badoer was unable to take part in the second qualifying session and started last on the grid, one place behind teammate Alboreto, Badoer being 9 seconds off Alain Prost's pole time. The race also proved uneventful Badoer retiring on lap 22 with gearbox failure, teammate Alboreto would also fail to finish the Grand Prix.
Due to the Lola's being severely off the pace in South Africa, the 107% rule was reintroduced, meaning any driver's beyond this from the pole time would not qualify for the race. The Lola's appeared much quicker in round 2 at Brazil and Badoer qualifed a strong ahead of four other cars including teammate Alboreto who started last. However although making it to the end of the race, the Lola's were far from competitive, teammate Alboreto made it past Badoer to finish 11th and 12th, the final race finishers.
At the European Grand Prix, Lola's fortunes failed to improve. Badoer was so uncompetitive that he failed to even qualify the Grand Prix, teammate Alboreto had only been able to perform marginally better to make it into the race.
The San Marino Grand Prix saw Badoer take a lowly 24th on the grid but was consoled by the fact that it was now Alboreto's turn to not qualify for the race. With a significant amount of retirements, Badoer was able to continue on to the end of the race, albeit three laps off the leader. Badoer finished in seventh position a single position off gaining it into the points. It would be the best result of his career.
Badoer once again held the measure over teammate Alboreto in Spain, qualifying a respectable 21st whilst Alboreto failed to qualify once again. Badoer however would retire on lap 44 with overheating issues.
Monaco would prove to be another disappointing weekend for Badoer as he failed to once again qualify for the race. Teammate Alboreto would struggle throughout the race and retire early on.
There was potential for Lola to be the only legal cars running in the Canadian Grand Prix with the FIA banning electronic aids from Canada onwards. Lola being the only car to not race with electronic aids it was looking more hopeful in terms of competitiveness for the team. However it was announced that these aids would be banned at the end of the season ending the team's only true hope of competitiveness. Canada was another lackluster performance with Alboreto failing to qualify and Badoer qualifying in last. Badoer would have a stronger race making it past both Derek Warwick and Ukyo Katayama to finish 14th.
In France Badoer once again had the measure over Alboreto, qualifying 21st as Alboreto failed to qualify once again. In the race he failed to finish with suspension failure on the 28th lap.
Once again as Alboreto failed to qualify, Badoer struggled through to qualify in last place. The Lola's poor reliability was demonstrated again when he retired with electrical failure.
The German Grand Prix was next and despite having four accidents throughout practice and qualifying, Badoer started 25th one place ahead of teammate Alboreto. The race would not last long for Badoer as he retired on the fourth lap with suspension failure, putting to an end another dismal weekend.
At the Hungarian Grand Prix Alboreto finally got the measure of Badoer in qualifying beating him to second last on the grid. The race would mark Badoer's first retirement due to his own predicament as he spun off the circuit into the gravel trap on the 28th lap.
The Belgian Grand Prix would see the Lola's occupying the last row of the grid once again, Badoer ahead of Alboreto. This would be the first time in five races that Badoer would see the chequered flag in 13th ahead of teammate Alboreto and Katayama's Tyrrell.
The team hoped for improvements in its and its driver's home race in Italy. Alboreto performed strongly to qualify 21st whilst Badoer occupied last place on the grid. Badoer put in a strong performance in the race, battling the Minardi of Christian Fittipaldi and the Larrousse of Phillipe Alliot for 8th, whilst the underpowered Lola was unable to beat either driver it still performed well to finish in 10th position.
Portugal was another disappointment as both Alboreto and Badoer occupied the final row of the grid. As Alboreto retired, Badoer finished the race some way down in last place. Following Portugal, the team without the financial capacity to make any improvement decided to pull out of Formula One prior to the end of the season missing the final two rounds in Japan and Australia. The season was a disappointment for Badoer and well below the expectations of the reigning F3000 champion. His only consolation was that he consistently outperformed his highly experienced and former GP winner teammate Michele Alboreto throughout the season. Demonstrating that despite the dismal performance of the Lola, he was a driver that had potential.
Badoer had a hope of salvaging his career after being lined-up as a potential candidate for the second Benetton seat alongside Michael Schumacher for the 1994 season. Both Michele Alboreto and Badoer were competing against eachother for the drive. Badoer and Alboreto were among several drivers to conduct a number of tests for Benetton, however both driver's proved a disappointment and the drive went instead to JJ Lehto.
Badoer and Alboreto attempted to find refuge at Minardi which had merged with what was left of the BMS Italia team that they had raced for the previous season. Much to Badoer's surprise the team opted to choose Alboreto over Badoer based upon his experience within F1, despite the fact Badoer had outpaced Alboreto throughout 1993. Badoer found refuge in being signed as the team's test and reserve driver for the season keeping his Formula One career alive. Due to the restrictions on finance, Minardi's testing opportunities were limited but when Badoer was given the opportunity to test he began to establish his reputation as a strong test driver and impressed the Minardi squad with his skill behind the wheel of an F1 car.
With Alboreto underperforming in 1994 and establishing himself as too old for F1 now, Minardi replaced him in 1995 with Badoer who they believed to be some fresh talent to alleviate them from their backmarker status. Badoer was partnered by long time Minardi driver Pierluigi Martini. The Minardi was uncompetitive but not to the extreme of the Lola chassis he had raced in 1993.
After qualifying 18th one place behind teammate Martini in the first race at Brazil, both Badoer and Martini would go on to retire from the race with gearbox failure.
At the second round in Argentina, Badoer would get his best qualifying session to date. Qualifying a competitive 13th three places above teammate Martini. However Badoer was unable to maximise his grid position as he was involved in a first corner entanglement that involved teammate Martini, Jean Alesi, Mika Salo, Olivier Panis, Johnny Herbert and Rubens Barrichello. The race was stopped and of the seven cars involved, Badoer was the only one unable to make the restart.
Badoer proved uncompetitive in San Marino, qualifying in 20th two places behind Martini. The race would see little improvement and while Martini retired, Badoer would go on to finish 14th, last of the classified cars and four laps adrift of the winner.
At the Spanish Grand Prix, Badoer struggled once again to 21st on the grid being beaten by Martini who qualified two places ahead. The race saw him retire on the 21st lap with gearbox failure.
In September 1995, Badoer was invited by Ferrari to participated in the 1995 Italian Driver's Test, a private single-day test held at the Fiorano Circuit with the Ferrari 412T2. He was one of four Italian drivers selected for the test, which was designed to promote Italian drivers in motorsport. He set the fastest lap time of the test, completing 40 laps.
Being dropped by Minardi at the end of 1995, Badoer signed with the Forti team for 1996 alongside Andrea Montermini. It was a very disappointing year for him as he failed to qualify four times and only managed to finish a race twice that season. At the Argentine Grand Prix he suffered a heavy accident with Pedro Diniz. Diniz struck him from behind and Badoers car flipped, he was alright but marshals were critisised for not being able to pull Badoer out from beneath the car in quick enough time. At the half way point of the year, Forti dropped from the championship leaving Badoer without a drive.
After failing to secure a drive for 1997, Badoer moved to the FIA GT Championship for 1997 for Lotus, alongside another former F1 driver Mimmo Schiattarella where he finished fourth in the championship. In this season he was approached by the Ferrari F1 team proposing him to join the team as their F1 Test and Reserve Driver, a role Badoer accepted.
Badoer retired from GT Racing in 1997 and instead focused on testing full time for Ferrari.
After being signed in 1999 for the Minardi F1 team, Badoer only briefly participated in the pre season testing for Ferrari.
Making a return to Minardi as a full time driver alongside rookie Marc Gené, Badoer was unable to participate in the second round of the championship in Brazil due to a neck injury sustained in a testing accident, but returned in time for the next race in San Marino. However the season was a disaster for Badoer as he usually finished in about pack placings or not at all. However, he nearly scored his first ever points when running 4th at the Nürburgring, but in the dying laps of the race his car broke down much to his disappointment. He set the record that year with the driver who had started the most races without scoring a point (50 since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix). When Michael Schumacher broke his leg at the British Grand Prix Badoer was expected to replace him since he was the teams reserve driver. However, Team Principal Jean Todt said no due to his services this year at Minardi and instead opted for Mika Salo to replace Schumacher.
Return to Ferrari
After not being able to find a competitive drive for 2000, Badoer returned to testing full time for Ferrari, where he has been said to be a great contributer to the teams first constructors title in 29 years, with hours and hours of testing throughout the season, as well as Ferrari's other success in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004, where Ferrari dominated the league. Badoer has said to have done more kilometres in a Ferrari then any other Italian in history. In 2006 for the Winter Olympics that would be performed in Italy, the opening presentation was that of Luca Badoer in the Ferrari 248 F1 doing donuts and in the end the shape lay in the form of the olympic rings.
For 2009, there was to be a ban of in season testing which prevented Badoer from getting any testing for Ferrari that year. However, when Ferrari driver Felipe Massa was seriously injured at the qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, former Ferrari driver and world champion Michael Schumacher was set to replace him. However, due to a neeck injury in a motorbike race, it prevented him from making any come back. So instead, the team employed Badoer to fill in for Massa until his return. Badoer had finally acquired his life long dream to race for Ferrari. However, this would be his first race since Minardi in 1999. Badoer qualified last for his first race back in Valencia, and however did impressively to finish the race which the team were pleased to see coming home second last ahead of the Williams of Kazuki Nakajima. Hoping to improve at Belgium in the next race, a track he knew well in his racing days. However it was not to be, and he qualified last in the race and finished last, after this race he was replaced by another Italian, Giancarlo Fisichella. Team Principal Stefano Domenicalli however stated that Badoer's results were stronger than they expected since he had not raced at all since 1999, and the last time he tested the Ferrari F60 was in December 2008.
Badoer continued testing for Ferrari in 2010 at the age of 39. At the end of the year, he retired from racing.
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Pts.||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1993||Lola BMS Scuderia Italia||Lola-Ferrari||0||NC||Report|
|1994||Minardi Scuderia Italia||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||Test driver|
|1995||Minardi Scuderia Italia||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||0||NC||Report|
|1996||Forti Grand Prix||Forti-Ford Cosworth||0||NC||Report|
|1997||Minardi Team||Minardi-Hart||Test driver|
|1998||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|1999||Fondmetal Minardi Team||Minardi-Ford Cosworth||0||NC||Report|
|Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|2000||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|2001||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|2002||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|2003||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|2004||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|2005||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|2006||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|2007||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|2008||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|2009||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver||Report|
|2010||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||Test driver|
|Front Row Starts||0|
|Distance Raced||11255 km (6994 mi)|
|Complete Formula One Results|
|1994: Test driver|
|1997–1998: Test driver|
|2000–2008: Test driver|
|2010: Test driver|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||DNS||Did not start|
|18th†||Classified finish (retired with >90% race distance)||NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)|
|4thP||Qualified for pole position||[+] More Symbols|
- Race stopped after 31/56 Laps. Half points awarded
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