Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher has admitted Valentino Rossi was 'very impressive' when he made his F1 debut in the German's Ferrari F2004.

Rossi took part in a secret test at Fiorano yesterday, with Ferrari only confirming the five-times motorcycling world champion had driven the car late in the evening - and didn't release lap times.

However, despite a few spins, Rossi was reportedly just 3-seconds off Schumacher's lap record after around twenty laps (see previous story) - enough to impress even 'Schumi' himself.

"(Valentino) really enjoyed himself," began Michael, when asked about Rossi's test. "Of course, it took him a while to get used to it, but he was very impressive by the end of the day.

"I know he has done some karting, but at the end of the day, when you have racing in your blood, you know what to do," he added.

But could Rossi have a future in Formula One?

"I think it is not easy to answer," mused Michael. "He has great ability, he has shown that many times on his racing bike and he has shown that to some degree in what he did yesterday. I would probably say he would come in at a certain level, which would be maybe competitive, but to reach the final bit is usually the difficult bit.

"I don't think it is the point because he just wanted to enjoy himself and I'm pretty sure he did looking at the grin he had on his face yesterday," he revealed. "I guess today he is working on his neck to get that back in order! Otherwise it was a fun day for him."

Schumacher, currently at Imola for this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix, then confessed he would probably decline an offer to ride Rossi's Yamaha YZR-M1 motorcycle.

"I think going from two-wheels to four is quite safe, but going from four to two is not," said the six-times F1 world champion. "I would like to see how his bike accelerates, but I would not want to test its cornering."

Opinion is divided as to whether Rossi's performance was simply a sign of excellent four-wheel ability, especially after only limited experience in World Rally cars, or partly an indication that Formula One machines are now easier to drive than ever before...