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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Ferrari's other comeback kid

By unknown | Aug 20, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

VALENCIA - There will be no consoling the fans who had hoped to witness Michael Schumacher's comeback this weekend but, even without the Ferrari great, Formula One will still see an astonishing return.

A decade on from his last appearance on the starting grid, and still without a point after 49 starts, Luca Badoer can look forward to Sunday's European GP as the first Italian to race for Ferrari in 15 years.

Called up as a replacement for a replacement, with Schumacher having had to abort plans to come out of retirement and stand in for injured Brazilian Felipe Massa, Badoer has his chance of a lifetime. Just scoring a point will be hard enough for the 38-year-old, who has barely driven the F60 car now that testing is banned during the season, and he knows it.

"I am very motivated to make the most of this opportunity, even if I know I am facing a tough challenge," the test driver said. The team's focus will be mostly on 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen, who finished second in Hungary last month after Massa - last year's winner in Valencia - was injured in qualifying.

McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton won in Budapest and is hungry for more while Brawn's championship leader Jenson Button is eager to reassert himself after struggling in the last three races.

Button is 18,5 points ahead of Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber with seven races remaining and will stay top of the standings whatever happens in Valencia. Webber and teammate Sebastian Vettel, third in the championship, will be hard to beat while Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso (Renault) was on pole at the last race.


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