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Rossi and a third Ferrari.

Despite stating on numerous occasions that his chance to race in F1 is gone, Valentino Rossi's name has once again been linked with Ferrari - this time as a result of the Italian marque's ongoing dispute with Formula One's governing body the FIA.

Ferrari is furious at the planned introduction of a £40 million budget cap from next season, and has threatened to withdraw from the sport and race elsewhere - possibly in a new breakaway championship formed alongside other disillusioned F1 teams.

Now, in what could be seen as a further attempt by Ferrari to increase its bargaining power against the FIA, rumours have once again emerged linking F1's biggest name with MotoGP's biggest star - should an agreement between the FIA and Ferrari not be found.

If Ferrari stays in F1, it would presumably continue to field two cars. Current Ferrari drivers Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen are both under contract until the end of next season, therefore the Rossi third-drive 'offer' appears dependent on whether or not Ferrari goes through with its threat to quit F1, should the budget cap stay in place.

An attempt by Ferrari to get an injunction against the budget cap was rejected on Wednesday by a French court.

Clearly any new championship that could boast both Ferrari and Rossi would be a potential threat to F1. Ferrari fans dominate the F1 audience in a similar way to Rossi's fans in MotoGP and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has repeatedly made clear he would love to see Rossi in his championship.

When questioned about the rumours, reigning six time MotoGP world champion Rossi - who has a contract to race for Yamaha in MotoGP next season - played down the likelihood of it happening, but didn't rule it out completely.

"It looks difficult, especially as I have a contract with Yamaha, but if three-car teams were to materialise...” La Gazzetta dello Sport quotes Rossi as saying.

"Today I would say it's an impossible hypothesis, because my contract with Yamaha is already signed. I see it being truly difficult.

"I've got an excellent relationship with Ferrari. In my opinion we need to wait and see how the situation develops, and if they'll really pursue this alternative championship with three car teams - but there's also the possibility that [FIA president Max] Mosley will back down so everyone can come to an agreement.

Related Pictures

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Valentino Rossi tests a Ferrari F1 car, Mugello 2008 (pic: Ferrari).
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Phill - Unregistered

May 20, 2009 6:15 PM

I Do! What are you talking about? The Ferrari comment ok but to say Rossi is "attention seeking Italian racer starting to fade a bit" total pish, how can the current Moto GP champion be fading? he is up there with the leaders this year and still favorite for the title. I have never read such garbage.

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