To lovers of the sport, who then exactly is Badoer. Like it or not, he will be racing alongside Kimi Raikkonen and like it or not, his name will be mentioned time and time again. And like it or not, all eyes will be on him on whether he can raise the stakes in the team and perhaps make the seat his.
Badoer has actually been in Formula 1 longer than most people could recall but his time came and went without much of a trace as he is one of the few drivers who has had 48 grands prix under his belt, but has not scored a single point. During his racing years, only the top 6 teams in any grand prix would score points and the best position he had was a seventh. He started racing in the F1 in 1993 when he was driving for Scuderia Italia. He would then move on to Minardi, Forti Corse and Ferrari which are all Italian teams.
In 1999, when he was with Minardi, he could have scored some points should he maintained his fourth position and should the gearbox did not fail. That would have been the first point that he would have scored after trying for 6 full years but his crying after the car broke down outlines just how disappointed he was. He too is one of the few drivers who failed to qualify for a race which he did so for 6 times.
This is how his link with Ferrari came about. In 1997, he joined the Prancing Horse as a test driver and would have raced for them in 1999 while on a 1 year deal with Minardi. Ferrari was said to have been interested to have Badoer replace Michael Schumacher that season when he suffered a broken leg, but then Ferrari thought Mika Salo would be a better replacement. Badoer now replaces Schumi.
One of the highlights of his nature this time is that he is an Italian racing for Ferrari who is believed to not want to have Italian drivers as they believe that the pressure on Italian drivers in the country is too heavy to bear. The last time Ferrari put forward an Italian driver is 15 years ago with Nicola Larini. Badoer will now become the oldest F1 driver in the championships when he steps up in the European GP.