Jan.7 (GMM) Valentino Rossi says he came tantalisingly close to switching to Formula 1 in 2006.
Last month, the MotoGP legend swapped his bike for Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in a highly publicised event at Valencia.
Rossi, 40, told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he came close to being just a second off Hamilton’s pace.
And Luigi Mazzola, the former head of Ferrari’s test team, said that when Rossi did several serious tests for Ferrari years ago, Michael Schumacher was impressed.
“In the first test, he spun a dozen times, but over time he did some really amazing laptimes,” he said.
“I remember looking at the data in the box with Michael and he had an astonished expression on his face. He was almost incredulous,” Mazzola added.
Some 14 years later, Italian Rossi now reveals he came close to quitting two wheels and launching a serious Formula 1 career in 2006.
“I had completed a number of tests for Ferrari and we then sat down with the team management, who had worked out a very comprehensive plan to prepare me for a career in Formula 1,” he said.
But Rossi said the deal fell over due to the details.
“The plan said that I had to drive a less fast car to prepare, and I was supposed to be a test driver at first. That’s why I decided to decline the offer,” Rossi said.
Grand Prix Tours has once again orchestrated the perfect race weekend for the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix. Located just outside of the Belgian city of Spa is the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps home to the Belgian Grand Prix. Known as one of the most popular races on the Formula 1 calendar because of its scenic setting, racing heritage and famously challenging turns this race is a favorite of drivers and fans alike. Follow the link above to learn more about our trip to the Belgian Grand Prix.
Join Grand Prix Tours as we head to beautiful northern Italy and the Autodromo Nazionale Monza for the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. With a racing lineage that dates back more than 95 years, unpredictable weather patterns and the ravenous Ferrari fans makes this race and post-race celebration a spectacle like no other in professional motorsports. Follow the link above to learn more about our trip to the Italian Grand Prix.
Join Grand Prix Tours as we head to Singapore and the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the only true night race on the Formula 1 calendar. One of only 4 street circuits on the F1 calendar the beauty of the modern Formula 1 cars are on full display under the bright lights of the Marina Bay street circuit. Follow the link above to learn more about our trip to the Singapore Grand Prix.
Get ready to bear witness to one of the most difficult tracks drivers will face all season, the Suzuka Circuit. Designed by Honda as a test track in 1962 the circuit is one of only a few tracks in the world to have a figure eight layout. The amazing enthusiasm of the local race fans is on par with that of any other fanatical nation which only adds to the already unique experience the Japanese Grand Prix provides. Follow the link above to learn more about our trip to the Singapore Grand Prix.