Ferrari: Rossi will Only Race to Win

MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi will race for Ferrari in Formula One only if he can be a winner, according to Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo

Ferrari: Rossi will Only Race to Win

"Valentino is not obliged to race in Formula One. If he decides to, it is because he decides he is ready to win," di Montezemolo told reporters at the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday.

"He is a nice guy, he is very popular with Italians but we don't need popularity. We need a winning driver," he added.

Ferrari have said that Rossi, Italy's highest-paid sportsman whose extrovert personality has won him a legion of fans in motorcycling, will test regularly for them next year in a separate programme to probe his potential.

The 26-year-old, chasing his fifth successive title in motorcycling's top class, has another year on his Yamaha contract but a switch to Formula One is clearly under consideration.

He has already tested twice for the Formula One World Champions at their private Fiorano track and technical director Ross Brawn said he clearly had huge potential.

Di Montezemolo said neither Ferrari nor Rossi had any pressure on them: "He knows that he must do some tests and a champion like him goes into Formula One if he chooses to do so, if he feels he is going there to win.

"Neither he nor we have a pistol to our heads.

"If something comes of it, it will above all be his decision. If Ferrari and Rossi come together, it will be to win the World Championship and not to put on a show that we do not need," he declared.

Only Briton John Surtees, who was Formula One champion with Ferrari, has won world titles on two wheels and four.

Di Montezemolo said the immediate future of Ferrari was seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher, who has a contract to the end of 2006.

The 36-year-old German will be partnered by Brazilian Felipe Massa next season.
 
"Schumacher is at Ferrari, he will end his career at Ferrari. He will decide when he finishes, not the contracts," said Di Montezemolo.

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