uring an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt, Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali admitted it is Ferrari’s fault it is currently effectively a one-car operation led by Kimi Raikkonen following the injury sustained in Hungary by Felipe Massa.
Contrary to many other major teams which run a young drivers programme with the aim of eventually selecting and promoting them to Formula One, Ferrari has no such structure in place.
With Felipe Massa taken out of the medium-term picture by his head wound, the Italian team could not fall back on younger talent and offer them an opportunity behind the wheel of a Ferrari F60.
Instead, Michael Schumacher was asked to step in after nearly three years of retirement, but could not because of a neck injury. Long-time Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer was then given the race seat, but after a decade away from active Grand Prix participation, his last-place results might see him replaced after only two races.
Although the team’s other test driver, the 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Marc Gene, is a possibility, speculation is also running high that Force India driver Giancarlo Fisichella might be temporarily brought aboard.
Other names are circulating as well, but it all comes down to the lack of a Ferrari young drivers programme to count on.
"Yes, that is a weak point of ours," Domenicali commented to Die Welt, referring to the team’s need to turn to the struggling Badoer.
"In the last years Ferrari missed the opportunity to install a young driver programme, but we are going to work on that," the Italian announced.
after his amazing performance at Spa Giancarlo
set up a junior development program in case this happens in the future
winning grand prixs is so important that they are willing to invest a tremendous amount just so that they will be prepared when the next big tragedy strikes
OK from Miami for Felipe
Maranello, 1st September 2009 – It was a long day yesterday for Felipe Massa, seen by doctors. The Ferrari driver flew to Miami on Sunday for some important check ups carried out by Professor Stephen Olvey, Head of the Jackson Memorial Hospital Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit.
The checks (neurometric and impact tests, cognitive capacity tests) all had a positive outcome, just like the eye exam: everything is in order for Felipe to get back to racing. Now there has just to be carried out some plastic surgery at the brain box, where the spring at the accident at the Hungaroring hit his helmet. The surgery will take place in the upcoming days. After a short convalescence Felipe can then gradually start with physical preparations.
"I’m very happy about the results," Felipe told the official Ferrari website before boarding the plane back to Sao Paulo. "After the small surgery in the next days I can finally start to go to the gym to get back into shape and drive some tests in karts. On the track with a Formula 1 single-seater? Let’s take it step by step: at the moment I’m concentrating on taking up physical activities, which is a great step forward."
Naturally the results were received with great joy and satisfaction at Maranello with the prospect to be able to count on Felipe 100% for the start of the next racing season.