The chief executive of Fiat, which is the parent company of Ferrari and title sponsor of Valentino Rossi's Yamaha MotoGP team, has said it would be a 'great idea' to field a third F1 car for the Italian superstar.

Earlier this week Ferrari president and departing Fiat chairman Luca di Montezemolo once again stated that he wants F1 rules to be changed to allow the top teams to field a third car CLICK HERE

di Montezemolo also made clear that - with Ferrari legend Michael Schumacher defecting to Mercedes - he would do 'everything' to get reigning seven time MotoGP champion Rossi to drive the third machine.

The official Ferrari position regarding a third car and potential hiring of Rossi was further underlined in a statement by Ferrari press officer Luca Colajanni to CNN

"The possibility for the major manufacturers to provide the private teams with a third car would be very effective in order to increase the appeal of Formula One," he said. "The potential involvement of such a extraordinary champion as Valentino Rossi would be even more helpful."

Following on from those comments, motorsport.com states that Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne has also given his public backing.

"Luca says he would like to have a third Ferrari car with Valentino - it's a great idea if he [Rossi] is willing to do it," Marchionne is said to have told Italian reporters

Rossi, who presently leads the 2010 MotoGP World Championship after victory at round one in Qatar, is out of contract at the end of this season.

The 31-year-old, who has suggested he will stay on two-wheels for several more years, hopes to have his future decided by his home Italian Grand Prix on June 6.