MotoGP »

Rossi fast on Ferrari F1 return.

Valentino Rossi returned to the cockpit of a Ferrari F1 car for the first time since February 2006, during the opening day of his special two-day test session at Mugello on Thursday - and lapped within 1.5sec of F1 pace.

The test marks Rossi's fifth appearance in a Ferrari F1 car since 2004. However, "this time it was just for pure fun, for both - Ferrari and Rossi - celebrating their victorious seasons." said a Ferrari statement. The Mugello test is open to the public, with tickets available for 5 Euros.

Rossi was driving an F2008 car, which won this year's F1 constructors' world championship and finished second and third in the drivers' world championship with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen. Rossi's F2008, wearing a #46, was the actual car used by Raikkonen in the season-ending F1 races in China and Brazil. It is the first F1 car Rossi has driven without traction control.

Rossi completed 26 laps of the Tuscan circuit - scene of his record-breaking seventh consecutive home motorcycle grand prix victory on June 1 - this morning, setting a best lap time of 1min 23.76sec.

That was around three seconds off the ultimate pace, but Rossi - watched by Fiat Yamaha MotoGP team manager Davide Brivio and father Graziano - then halved that deficit during 25 afternoon laps to end day one with a best lap time of 1min 22.55sec.

To put that into perspective, Ferrari's previous test at Mugello, which took place in September, saw the team's experienced test driver Luca Badoer lead the way with a lap of 1min 21.010sec lap. 2007 world champion Raikkonen, driving the day after Badoer, clocked a 1min 21.079sec while Massa, who took over for the third and final day, could only manage a 1min 23.618sec due to a damp track.

"I'm really happy that I had this possibility and I want to thank [Ferrari] president Luca di Montezemolo and [team principal] Stefano Domenicali for it," said Rossi.

"Driving a Ferrari Formula One car on a track like Mugello is something fantastic and incredible. It's great to work with people on such a high level, like those who were at the track with me today.

"We've done some pretty good work, very professional, and we tried to improve lap after lap. I'm satisfied and I hope I can do it again tomorrow," he added.

Mugello test – Thursday:
Valentino Rossi ITA Ferrari 1min 22.5sec

Ferrari's previous Mugello F1 test - September 17-19 2008:
1. Luca Badoer ITA Ferrari Test Driver 1min 21.010sec
2. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1min 21.079sec
3. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1min 23.618sec (damp)

Badoer drove on the 17th, Raikkonen the 18th and Massa the 19th. All three were using the F2008 car.

Unofficial all-time Mugello F1 lap record:
Rubens Barrichello BRA Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1min 18.704sec (2004)


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Valentino Rossi tests a Ferrari F1 car, Mugello 2008 (pic: Ferrari).
Rossi at 2016 Monza Rally Show (Monster)
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith, Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sam Lowes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sam Lowes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Pirro, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


alfie north - Unregistered

November 20, 2008 8:11 PM

I'd like to see valentino rossi against sebastien loeb on the same track with the same machinery. that would be more fun and would perhaps give some idea on how valentino would fare if he took a rallying career.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.