Grapevine: Ferrari Eye Testing Role for Rossi

MotoGP sensation Valentino Rossi could become Ferrari's regular test driver and is now qualified for a Formula One superlicense, according to information published in Italy

Grapevine: Ferrari Eye Testing Role for Rossi

The Italian two-wheel champion tested at Fiorano last week for two days, after first testing with Ferrari in April 2005.

Weekly magazine Autosprint quotes unnamed Ferrari sources this week who revealed that Rossi's best laptime last week was 57.2 seconds - less than 1.5 seconds slower than the circuit's record, set by Michael Schumacher in 2004.

The Italian was running in an F2004 car, however it was fitted with this year's tyres and he covered 375kms in these two days of testing. This means Rossi can now apply for a superlicense, which requires covering over 300kms in no more than two days.

The magazine reveals that telemetry showed Rossi is very good at turn exit - almost at Schumacher's levels - but suffers at turn entry, perhaps because his foot is not used to the 90kg force needed to brake at the limit.

Ferrari have not made their plans for Rossi known officially - nor has the Italian made his wish to switch to four-wheel racing known and in fact he has often denied such plans. But according to Autosprint, the Maranello-based squad plan to have Rossi as the Formula One team's third driver and official test driver.

But this too is unlikely to occur next season, when Rossi continues driving for Yamaha in the MotoGP Championship. Rather, next year Ferrari will go back to split their testing programme between two teams: one for tyres and the other for the car.

 

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