Luca Badoer says he feels just as sorry for Michael Schumacher as he does for Felipe Massa as he finalizes his preparations for a Formula 1 return in Valencia this weekend.
Badoer has been given a surprise opportunity to race for Ferrari as the replacement for the injured Massa, after plans to get Schumacher in the car were aborted due to a neck injury the seven-time champion suffered in a motorcycle crash earlier this year.
Although Badoer is fired up about making the most of his F1 chance, he says he will be thinking of both Massa and Schumacher as he takes to the track at the European Grand Prix.
"I am very motivated to make the most of this opportunity, even if I know I am facing a tough challenge, especially during the first couple of days in Valencia," said Badoer on Tuesday, after completing two days of running in an F60 at Fiorano for promotional purposes.
"It will effectively be a test session for me, but I will be trying my best to secure a good result. I have to say, my first thoughts when I take to the track will be for Felipe, because I got a real fright when I saw his accident. I am delighted that he is making a good recovery and I hope he will be back racing as soon as possible.
"I have to add that I am also thinking of Michael, because having trained with him over the last few weeks, I know how much he wanted to make this comeback and how much effort he was putting into his preparation. Even though his decision has provided me with this great opportunity to race for the Scuderia, I feel sorry for him, because not only are we friends, but I am also an admirer of his."
As well as completing the promotional running at Fiorano, having been limited to 100 kilometers on each day, Badoer has also spent time at the factory with his race engineers over the past few days.
The changes on Ferrari's driver front come as the team focuses on trying to secure third place in the constructors' championship.
In a bid to boost its chances of achieving that feat, the F60 will feature modifications to the front and rear wing, plus a tweaked diffuser, for this weekend's race.