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Rossi: I had my chance in F1, unlikely to be another

Valentino Rossi has admitted that there was a chance for him to switch from bike racing to cars and join Formula 1 three years ago – but having turned that opportunity down, he concedes it is highly unlikely there will ever now be another.

The MotoGP legend – who last season clinched his eighth grand prix world championship crown, and sixth in the premier class – has tested for Ferrari on a number of occasions over the past few years. After achieving virtually all there is to achieve on bikes, he has confessed to having since had doubts about not having taken on the challenge of competing at the pinnacle of four-wheeled motorsport too, when the option was there for him.

Having lapped within a second of record-breaking seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher on one of his outings, the Italian got behind the wheel of one of the scarlet machines once more at Mugello just before Christmas, as a present to himself for his latest title success.

“To try the Ferrari again was a great emotion,” the 29-year-old, Urbino-born star acknowledged. “I have always been a great fan of racing cars, not just of rally. I was fast, so I was happy – I am fast enough also in Formula 1!

“In 2006 I decided to stay with the bike and, of course, I still have some doubts, but just to climb inside the red car at Mugello and work with Ferrari was fantastic.”

Having pledged his immediate future to MotoGP, however, and with any future car-related activities likely to revolve around his other love of rallying – following an impressive performance on Wales Rally GB in December, what he hinted could be a precursor to more regular appearances in years to come – Rossi recognises that any opportunity of making it onto the grand prix grid is probably now gone.

“As I said before, I had my chance and I decided to stay with bikes,” the Yamaha ace concluded. “The choice is made and I don't think that there will be another possibility.”


Related Pictures

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Valentino Rossi returns to the wheel of a Ferrari F1 car, Mugello 2008 (pic: Ferrari).
Valentino Rossi
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
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The Truth - Unregistered

February 02, 2009 4:05 PM

And MotoGP is of course better for the decision..... Wot no comments from the UK? Are you all outside building snowmen because it is too cold to work in your offices?

skater - Unregistered

February 03, 2009 2:52 PM

Why would he go to F1? Sure he likes cars but what does F1 have to offer him? Money and fame? He already has that. Snide remarks from that dinosaur Bernie Ecclestone? No one needs that. He is a competitor who loves to battle or else he gets bored. When was the last time F1 produced a battle like Rossi had with Stoner at Laguna Seca last year? If Rossi is getting bored with the lack of battles in MOTOGP then he would go insane from boredom racing in F1. Hell I get bored watching F1 after 4 minutes. Send Dani Pedrosa to F1. He'll fit in just fine.



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