Luciano Burti was back behind the wheel of a Formula One car in Barcelona testing this week for the first time since last September. 2001 was Burti's first F1 season and it wasn't an easy one with two different teams and three different team ...
Luciano Burti was back behind the wheel of a Formula One car in Barcelona testing this week for the first time since last September.
2001 was Burti's first F1 season and it wasn't an easy one with two different teams and three different team mates - at Jaguar with Eddie Irvine for the start of the year then moving to Prost with first Jean Alesi and then Heinz Harald Frentzen. At Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium Burti crashed at over 180mph, slamming into a tyre wall early in the race. Miraculously escaping with only bad bruising, he sat out the rest of the season on doctors order's.
Earlier this week at the Circuit de Catalunya and also at Fiornao, the Brazilian was finally back in an F1 car and was extremely pleased to be there in his new capacity as Ferrari test driver.
“ I've never been so happy before in my whole career. It's not just being associated with the magical Ferrari name but also because of the way they treat me.” He said.“ Driving a Ferrari is just a world apart from anything else I have sat in. I knew it was going to be better, but it was a shock that it was so much better."
Being a test driver was how Burti had his chance to race for the first time at Austria in 2000, when Eddie Irvine was taken ill - but he hopes he will get his chance again through his driving skills, not because of someone else's misfortune.
"Stepping in for Eddie made a difference to my future because I was then promoted to a race driver. But even though I could benefit from something happening to Michael or Rubens, it is not a scenario I would ever wish for,” He commented. "It's not the way I would want to start racing again. I have been through a big accident and I pray nothing bad happens to them. If I do a good job for Ferrari and they can see how professional I am, then something might happen for my future somewhere else.”