Mike Stevens | Aug 24, 2009

FERRARI BOSS STEFANO DOMENICALI has admitted Luca Badoer has only one more chance to prove his ability as a replacement for Felipe Massa after struggling at the European Grand Prix.

After qualifying last, nearly three seconds behind teammate Kimi Raikkonen, Badoer continued to struggle during the race, spinning early on as he finished 17th.

In the lead up to his first Grand Prix in 10 years, Badoer played down expectations of a strong performance, claiming he was treating the race as a testing session.

And while few pundits expected the Italian to challenge for points, Badoer’s complete lack of pace stunned observers, causing many to question Ferrari’s decision in elevating him to a race seat.

Following the event, Domenicali admitted the team was disappointed with Badoer’s weekend, but reiterated Ferrari’s faith in his ability to turn it around in Spa.

“Ferrari cannot be satisfied with a car in last position. That is pretty clear, but we need to consider all the circumstances and everything that has happened. I think if you look behind it, for sure it was a difficult weekend for him,” he said.

“In terms of race pace, if you look to compare to the other young drivers, you can make your opinion.

“He did a great start and then he was touched from behind so he lost a place, and then in terms of rhythm – everyone was worried this morning about his health, worried about that it was not possible for him to get to the finish and that he would have to go to the hospital.”

However, Domenicali warned Badoer would be ousted from the seat unless his performances substantially improved.

“It is an important race for Luca Badoer next weekend. We are expecting a big jump from him and then we will see,” he said.

Follow Mike Stevens on Google+
Filed under Racing News