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GP Week : Issue 60
>>F1VALENCIA Badoer happy with his weekend ... no, really LUCA Badoer will race on for Ferrari at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend following a return to Formula 1 in Valencia which at times looked dismal, and at others bordered on the embarrassing. The Italian was hit with four pit-lane speeding fines and a trip to explain himself at the stewards’ office on his first day back in the cockpit after a 10-year absence, on the Friday of the European Grand Prix. Come qualifying he set the slowest time and in the race itself Badoer was the last classified driver amassing two spins, a drive-through penalty for crossing the pit exit line, and a bizarre moment when he deliberately moved out of the way of rookie Romain Grosjean, with whom he was fighting for track position, in the pit-lane itself. Despite all of this, however, Ferrari has insisted that it will continue with the Italian at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, and Badoer declared himself happy with his weekend’s work in Valencia. “I said when I arrived in Valencia that this Grand Prix would be a time for me to dust the rust off my back and get confident in the role of race driver again,” he said. “It was important for me to complete so many kilometres without making any serious mistakes and I managed that. From the physical point of view, I feel fine and that is another cause for satisfaction. “I tried to run my own race, but it was not easy to maintain a consistent pace, especially when I had to let the leaders by. At the first pit stop, I made a mistake which cost me one place, and then I was just a whisker over the white line and so I picked up a drive-through penalty. Now I am looking forward to Spa with confidence; it’s a track I know and I will also be able to count on the experience gained this weekend.” It may be his last chance. Paddock rumour already suggests Ferrari is plotting his replacement, with Marc Gene, Tonio Liuzzi and GP2 stand-out Nico Hulkenberg all linked to the seat for the Italian Grand Prix. rget for Red Bull Racing, says Horner RED Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner says that he was “bitterly disappointed” by his team’s failure to score points at the European Grand Prix. On a day when the team’s championship rivals BrawnGP returned to winning ways, a fuel rig issue and second engine failure of the weekend for Sebastian Vettel, and a run to ninth place for Mark Webber rounded out a race which fell well below expectations. “A bitterly disappointing day,” said Horner. “A fuel rig failure on Sebastian’s car, followed by an engine failure, which is the second of the weekend, was costly. Unfortunately for Mark, we just weren’t quick enough today.” With the Red Bull duo slipping behind Rubens Barrichello in the championship table after the race result, it was Vettel who was perhaps the most disappointed as two engine failures over the race weekend mean he has just two engines of his seasonal allocation of eight left to run for the rest of the season. “The biggest problem today was the first stop – we weren’t able to get fuel in the car, so we had to come in again. We were lucky to make it back for a second stop. The race was lost already at that point but then, a couple of laps on, I had a problem with the engine and I had to retire. “It’s not good. In terms of the championship, I will fight until the last breath, but it’s not good to have retired when you’re hunting and want to get more points than your opponent.” 2