Legendary, record-breaking six-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi
will re-indulge his passion for F1 with his latest test outing for Ferrari at Barcelona later this month, team principal Stefano Domenicali has confirmed.
Rossi has already tried out for the fabled Scuderia
on a number of occasions in recent years, fuelling speculation – all of which he has denied – that he is set for a future in scarlet once he eventually decides to call it quits on bikes.
Indeed, at Valencia four years ago the Yamaha star lapped barely half a second shy of fellow multiple title-winner Michael Schumacher – eliciting an impressed reaction indeed from the German, who predicted that 'The Doctor' would be eminently capable of holding his own at the pinnacle of four-wheeled competition as well as two.
In order to circumvent the stringent testing regulations in F1 and the official ban that remains in-place until the beginning of next month, Rossi will get behind the wheel of a year-old Ferrari on 20-21 January at the Circuit de Catalunya, where he has never previously so much as turned a wheel in a car.
The 30-year-old's most recent previous appearance for the Prancing Horse was at Mugello in Italy in late 2008, and he has also driven at the Fiorano test track. His current contract with Yamaha in MotoGP expires at the end of the forthcoming campaign, with his first pre-season test aboard his title-defending M1 due to begin at Sepang in Malaysia a fortnight later, on 4 February.