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Ferrari considered giving Valentino Rossi a full-time Sauber drive – Motorsports

Rossi flirted with the F1 switch in the mid-to-late 2000s and made his first official F1 tour of F1 at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia in 2006.

The nine-time Grand Prix World Champion seriously considered switching to F1 in 2006 and talked with Ferrari, but eventually opposed it because the first offer did not immediately join the main race team.

It was Yamaha’s fear that Rossi, who won two MotoGP titles when he joined from Honda in 2004, stopped racing in F1 and urged him to sign a contract with Jorge Lorenzo in 2008. Two 250cc crowns.

In an interview with Motorsport.com, Ferrari’s president from 1991 to 2014, Di Montezemolo, talks about Ferrari’s original ideas for signing Rossi.

“Everyone knows it wasn’t a promotional activity, Ferrari didn’t need it,” said Di Montezemolo. “Initially, it was a courtesy to the aspirations of a great champion.

“I saw him getting stronger, especially though he lacked continuity, but he had many possibilities and desires.

“At some point he spent a year in Sauber, but he was smart and preferred to stay in first place on a motorcycle rather than fourth or fifth in a car.”

Rossi eventually re-signed Yamaha in 2007 and 2008, extending his stay until 2010 before making an unlucky switch to Ducati.

The Italians last tested the Ferrari F1 car in Barcelona in 2010 and drove a 2008 car with GP2 tires.

Rossi is said to have approached his F1 race debut at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix when Felipe Massa was absent after suffering a serious head injury in a horror accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix that year.

This didn’t happen in the end, as Ferrari stabbed Giancarlo Fisichella into the car and dropped out of the deal with Force India.

Current Aprilia CEO Massi Morivora, who was the sports director at Ferrari during this period, told Autosport in 2019. I thought Rossi’s proposal to make his F1 debut in Monza in 2009 was more of a promotion than a serious option.

Rossi last drove an F1 car in Valencia at the end of 2019 as part of a ride swap with seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton on his first MotoGP bike.

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Ferrari considered giving Valentino Rossi a full-time Sauber drive

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