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GP Week : Issue 62
reality LUCA Badoer has pinned the blame for the loss of his Ferrari drive on the media, claiming that the harm done to his name by the press had forced the team's hand in replacing him. Badoer, who with 51 race starts without scoring a point now holds a new record of Formula 1 underachievement, proved uncompetitive on his two-race return for Ferrari and his replacement by Giancarlo Fisichella this week thus came as little surprise. "Those who write don't understand how much harm they can cause. The media played a fundamental role in the decision to replace me," Badoer told Gazzetta Sportiva. "I realised my dream. I will always be able to tell my kids I raced two races for Ferrari, Maranello had faith in me. I only have one regret - from the third grand prix I would have done better." Badoer blamed the 2009 testing restrictions on his under-par performances and described himself a victim of circumstance. "There was no agreement on how many races I would do. I thought I had time to improve. And these rules stop a reserve driver from testing and make him a victim - it happens only in Formula 1." Badoer may be upset at losing his drive, but he would do well to remember that the media at large was very much in his corner on the occasion of his comeback in Valencia, realising the hugely difficult situation into which he had been placed. However a combination of embarrassing errors, a lack of pace which saw him fall behind genuine rookies with no F1 experience, and an attitude which at times bordered from the arrogant to the aggressive with the media had done him few favours. By the end of his comeback, the moniker 'Look-How-Bad-You-Are' had, regretfully, become self-fulfilling. It's all your fault ... SEBASTIEN Loeb has been told that he is free to make his F1 debut at the 2009 season nale in Abu Dhabi, by his Citroen WRC Team Chief Olivier Quesnel. Loeb, who slipped further behind his Ford rival Mikko Hirvonen in the 2009 championship standings at Rally Australia over the weekend, could miss out on a sixth WRC crown this season, and in such an outcome an F1 race outing could add some shine to the year for the French rallying legend. "I am not a Formula 1 boss, so I have no seat to offer Sebastien," Quesnel told AFP, "but if someone makes a proposal to Sebastien, Citroen Racing will authorise him for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since the rally season will be over at that date." Loeb has already tested for the Renault and Red Bull F1 Teams and impressed them both. It is expected that the Frenchman would make his F1 debut with the Toro Rosso team, should an agreement be found in time for Abu Dhabi. Rally ace clear for F1 debut F1 NEWS >> 7