Luca Badoer is the official Ferrari test driver. Luca was born in Montebelluna, Italy on January the 25th 1971. Luca started out in Kart racing and in 1985 where he won the Italian Karting Championship. In 1989 Luca made is debut in F3 and he won his first race in the series in 1990.1992 saw Luca debut in F3000, Badoer won the International Championship courtesy of 4 race wins and he also took 5 pole positions on his way to the title.
In 1993 Luca Badoer made his debut in Formula One racing for the Lola Ferrari team. 1994 Luca took the role as the official Minardi test driver. In 1995 he was promoted to drive for the Minardi team and went on to drive for Forti in 1996.
Since 1997 Luca Badoer has been the official test driver for Scuderia Ferrari, his love for the prancing horse had never diminished even after the hurt he suffered after missing out on the drive of his life due to Schumacher's accident in 1999. The drive went to Mika Salo and although Luca was upset he still loves to test for the Ferrari team. His role as test driver is to assist the team and the two main driver's in preparing and developing the racing car, this work is not easy and the days are long, but Badoer loves it and he is a valuable person to the Ferrari team.
"He runs so slow because he thinks too much to the girls...! Luca is a golden guy, and his responsibilities inside the team are huge. His work is of invaluable help to the two official drivers" Jean Todt speaking about Luca.
Luca comes from the small town of Montebelluna, set in the hilly region near to Venice, he is shy and is always very politely spoken. Luca remains calm and seems to be able to shut out the crazy going on in the world of Formula One. To drive for the Scuderia is every Italian's dream, and Luca has the next best thing. But would Luca rather test for Ferrari or drive for a team such as fellow countryman Giancarlo Fisichella?
"Ferrari is the top and Fisi is a very good driver. Maybe he was lucky to have Briatore behind him but my only regret is that I didn't have a real chance to drive an highly performing car. Lola, Minardi, Forti, Minardi..... And now Ferrari! Yes. I miss the excitement of the GP, the race, the smells, the spectators...the highlights...but I'm proud to be useful to Ferrari and even more, to have the chance to learn from a great champion like Michael. I must confess that my biggest joy would be to win a GP, even I would be happy to collect only one point..."
Badoer almost realised his dream to race in a red car when he was placed on standby to drive in the final two races of the 2001 season in place of Michael Schumacher, sadly for Badoer and all his many fans this dream was not realised and once more his commitment to the team would prove a valuable asset as they prepared to defend the titles in 2002.
Badoer's invaluable work for the Scuderia continued through the 2002 season as the team itself set new records Badoer was as usual mainly found pounding around Fiorano as he developed the chassis. Badoer seems set to remain at Ferrari until the end of his career and this was more or less confirmed when he was offered the test role for life by the team.
Testing remained the main duties for Badoer in 2003, joined by Felipe Massa who took on the bulk of the tyre testing Badoer was free to develop the F2003-GA. Such is his understanding of the team and the respect they have for him Badoer was given a lot of responsibility and he did not fail to deliver. The GA won the titles for Ferrari and Badoer was once again very much a part of another Ferrari championship.
Badoer was once again used to the maximum in 2004 as the F2004 showed great promise and with the tyre testing work done by Badoer and the test team it made success certain for the Ferrari team, once again Badoer was the unsung hero of another double championship winning year for the Ferrari team.
Luca was to get his dream of driving a race Ferrari in 2009. After Felipe Massa's accident Ferrari had approached Michael Schumacher to stand in but the German was unable to take the drive due to neck problems. Ferrari then turned to Badoer who took the race seat, however the dream was not to all that good for Luca as he struggled to get to grips with the F60 and having not raced for 10 years it was clear he struggling. Badoer kept trying but with no sign of improvements Ferrari replaced him with Giancarlo Fisichella.
Badoer seems to have a job at Ferrari for as long as he feels fit to drive, however with the FIA implementing strict testing limits the track time is very much limited for Badoer these days, however he remains the favoured test driver by Ferrari when the race drivers are not in action and Badoer is often trusted with getting a test session up and running.