Who Could Replace Felipe Massa At Ferrari?
Although Felipe Massa’s condition is said to be “improving” there are underlying doubts that the Brazilian will compete in the European Grand Prix at Valencia in 4 weeks time. There are some doubts to when he will return, and if he will during the entireity of 2009. This has sparked a huge debate on who could race for Ferrari, and here I take a look at some of the possibilities Stefano Domenicali and Luca di Montezemolo could be assessing in the next few weeks. Get well soon Felipe!
Luca Badoer is Ferrari’s main test driver and has been with the team for sometime. The Italian also drove for Minardi, Scuderia Italia and Forti throughout the early 1990’s, and despite competing in many races he failed to score a point. His last appearance in a race 10 years ago with Minardi could mean he is out of form and fitness, but he has done plenty of testing especially with the KERS system.
Marc Gene is Ferrari’s “other” test driver, and works a lot on straightline speed testing. He drove for Minardi in 1999 and 2000, before moving to test with Williams where he was a substitute driver for 3 races. He is also a factory team Le Mans driver for Peugeot meaning he is fit and healthy enough to haul an F1 car around for 2 hours. Scoring points on his substitution for Williams in 2003 is impressive, and he would be my choice of the two test drivers.
The most successful F1 driver ever, and Ferrari’s darling looks like the obvious choice on paper. Indeed he has everything going for him, and keeping his hand in with occasional testing he should have no problems with the F2009. However his manager has cast doubts on his return, and Schuey has always denied wanting to drive again. Could he be the one to help them out of a rut? I’d like to think so, and so would Bernie Ecclestone who must be rubbing his hands with glee at the chance of getting Schu back in a car.
A bit of an “off-the-wall” choice, but it does make some sense. Rumour says Alonso has signed a contract for 2010 with Ferrari, and with Renault being suspended from the next GP there is a slim chance Alonso could make his Ferrari debut some 8 months earlier than expected at another ‘home’ GP of Valencia. It would be quite interesting to see the Spaniard alongside Raikkonen.
No-one has really considered Senna’s impressive nephew Bruno, but he has no race seat and is a proven fast driver. He also drove at the Ferrari anniversary celebrations at Silverstone a few years back. He’s young, fast and this could be a perfect break for him.
Sebastien Bourdais – About as likely as me to get the drive
Niki Lauda -I think he was joking
Takuma Sato – Probably more likely than Bourdais