Record-breaking multiple MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi has again dropped hints that he is set to switch from two wheels to four in 2011 and join the Formula 1 grid with arguably the sport's most famous team, admitting that 'to drive the Ferrari is a dream for anyone'.
The Rossi-Ferrari-F1 rumours have been doing the rounds of both the grand prix and motorcycling paddocks for some time, with the Italian having tested for the Scuderia
on a number of occasions in recent years, but always stopping short of committing to racing for the Maranello-based outfit in favour of remaining in MotoGP.
Though he has again pledged his future to Yamaha for 2010 – as he chases his sixth premier class crown this year, and ninth world title of his extraordinary career – Rossi is leaving his options open beyond the end of next season, mindful of the fact that F1 governing body the FIA is musing over the merits of allowing three-car teams in the top flight. Were Ferrari to run a third car, the man from Urbino would be an obvious choice.
“For the time being I have a certainty,” he is quoted by Visordown
as having told Italian media. “Next season I will be in MotoGP with Yamaha; in 2011 we will see. I have not decided what I will do after that – I have some options that are more pressing.
“With Ferrari the plan was defined in 2006. I would have become the test driver and then the driver in the races, but then I was not prepared to leave the world that is my life. Over two years I do not know now how things will be – to drive the Ferrari is a dream for anyone.
“I did not want to leave MotoGP after the fall in Valencia that cost me the title. I do not mourn the choice, but my relationship with Stefano Domenicali, the boss of Ferrari in F1, has continued. [If they were to run three cars in 2011], they would have to think of me for the drive.”
At the beginning of the 2011 F1 campaign, Rossi will still only be 32-years-old, making the scenario an entirely realistic one. 'The Doctor' has also been linked to a future in rallying following a number of successful cross-over outings, most recently in a Malcolm Wilson-run Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Focus WRC on Wales Rally GB last November, finishing twelfth.