'Difficult' for Gené not to drive
24 August 2009 – Mark Gené admits that not being chosen as replacement driver for Felipe Massa was a tough reality to cope with at the weekend. The Spaniard, one of two test drivers for Ferrari alongside Luca Badoer, remained on the sidelines as the Italian was selected to compete alongside Kimi Räikkönen.
As with Badoer before the weekend, Gené has never driven for Ferrari in a Grand Prix although the Maranello team chose to use the services of its longest serving pilot in Valencia. "These weeks have not been easy for me," Gené wrote in his El Mundo blog. "It is difficult to assimilate not running my home Grand Prix after winning the Le Mans 24 Hours this year as well as completing over 10,000 kilometres of running with Ferrari and Peugeot.
"As for the race, to be in Valencia is always special. Badoer improved rapidly; their progress has been steady all weekend and he did what was asked to do but it has shown that, after not competing for many years, making a return to competition is much more difficult - his debut has been complicated because he has been out for a long time and it is one thing to test but another to race."
Gené's own last drive in Formula One came for Williams as the Catalan driver replaced the injured Ralf Schumacher for two races in 2004. What does Marc expect as F1 heads to what he describes as 'the best circuit in the world' this weekend? "We all want to race there," he said ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at the renowned Spa-Francorchamps. "The key will be the weather. The race was fantastic last year, with the final battle between Hamilton and Räikkönen; it will be very different to Valencia - I expect the unstable weather will create a great race."