One word: Badoer.
Did you know if you Google “luca badoer” that “luca badoer jokes” pops up automatically in the search?
Here are some other facts I’ve pulled up about Ferrari’s erstwhile Luca Badoer, admittedly from Wikipedia, but that doesn’t make it less fun.
With 50 starts, he holds the record for most starts in Formula 1 without scoring a point.
Not surprisingly, he also holds the record for most laps completed without scoring a point: 2,364.
And here’s a huge chunk from his page:
In the first practice session for the 2009 European Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit, where he had never driven before, Badoer came last and was three seconds off the pace of fastest man Rubens Barrichello and 2.5 seconds down on team mate Kimi Raikkonen. He was 1.3 seconds down on Räikkönen in second practice, and 1.9 seconds off in final practice. He qualified 20th and last for the race, with a time almost 1.5 seconds slower than Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari, who was 19th.
He was also caught speeding in the pit-lane four times during Friday practice. These offences earned him a reprimand and three separate fines totalling €5,400. Badoer explained: “I am used to a 100kph limit in testing and so when I pressed the speed limiter button at the usual point in the pitlane, it did not give the car enough time to slow to the right speed”.
A number of drivers defended Badoer’s performance. Lewis Hamilton said: “I think he’s done a good job. He’s not put it in the wall; he’s kept it on the track. It’s an incredibly tall order to jump into the footsteps of Felipe Massa. He hasn’t even raced for ten years, so I think anyone who has taken that long out of the car is going to struggle, but instead I think he has done a good job just to keep it on the track and bit-by-bit he will catch up”. Heikki Kovalainen stated, “I don’t know what else you could have expected. Sometimes the tyres warm up, or they overheat or they don’t warm up, and it’s much more complicated than a few years ago where they brought out tyres that worked straightaway in different conditions. I think that knocks the driver’s confidence very easily – if the tyres are not working 100 per cent you can’t push if you don’t feel you have the grip”
At the Belgian Grand Prix, Badoer again qualified last after a spin on his last lap of the first qualifying session. At the start of the race, Badoer avoided the first-lap accidents, but he finished in 14th place, last of those drivers to finish the full race distance, despite setting the fastest sector one time of the race. Badoer was replaced by Force India driver Giancarlo Fisichella starting at the Italian Grand Prix, although he also failed to score any points in the five remaining races of the season. Badoer blamed the negative media coverage of his driving for Ferrari’s decision to replace him.
Yes, I was that close to seeing Michael Schumacher back in a Ferrari in 2009, for those who remember that I went to the Italian Grand Prix that year.
Fisi was a good consolation prize, I’ll admit. (And, yes, I know Luca retired.)