Welcome back, Luca Badoer. Wait… Christian who?

Today’s two practice runs in Singapore featured some old new names and new new names, and they enjoyed widely different … well, let’s be generous and call it “success.”

On one end was Luca Badoer, who ended up in the HRT car when Sakon Yamamoto released how lousy the car is got food poisoning. He was second slowest in the first, wet practice when Fariuz Fauzy figured the only way he’d get his name in the papers was if he was two and a half seconds off the next slowest driver.

In the second practice, with no Fauzy to keep him from the bottom, he was eight-tenths of a second adrift of the guy in the other HRT, Bruno Senna.

And Badoer… hold on.

Sorry, I’m being told it was Christian Klien in the HRT replacing Yamamoto. OK, so why’d he pull a Badoer?

I guess we know the HRT really is that bad. So who else can HRT drop in there to see if someone can drive it?

Performing far better was GP2 winner Jerome D’Ambrosio, who in the Virgin (under a test situation, basically) managed to nip at Timo Glock’s heels. He was less than a quarter-second off Timo’s pace.

That’s the way to at least get yourself a test seat for 2011.

And performing the best, arguably — pulling everything apart given the car, etc. — is none other than Nick Heidlfeld. Yay, Nick!!

OK, honestly, probably D’Ambrosio is the surprise of the day, being so competitive with Glock. But Nick managed to be right behind Kamui Kobayashi is both sessions, just about one-tenth of a second off in each case. He finished 13th both times.

Here’s Nick on his day:

“Given it was my first day back in the team and also in the 2010 car I’m very happy. I enjoyed driving a lot. At the beginning it was a bit difficult because the track was wet. I just took it easy and tried to do as many laps as possible. For the second session we changed a few things, but it is clear two sessions are not enough to analyse everything. I see many areas where we can improve the set-up of the car and areas where I can improve in getting the best out of the car. The track itself with regard to the bumps has improved compared to 2009.”

Shows that time on the Pirellis wasn’t wasted.

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