Schumacher Can't See Rossi Switching

Michael Schumacher does not believe Valentino Rossi is looking to make a switch to Formula One racing, and the German downplayed reports suggesting that Rossi could prepare next year for a full-time Grand Prix debut in 2007

Schumacher Can't See Rossi Switching

Despite constant denials from Rossi himself, the Italian is widely regarded as a leading candidate for a Formula One drive with Ferrari in two years, with Ferrari's technical director Ross Brawn stating recently that Rossi could test regularly next season.

But seven times Formula One World Champion Schumacher admitted he did not believe Rossi would want to make the switch, or be successful at it.

"Let me put it that way: what Rossi has been doing in bike racing ­- jumping from one manufacturer to another that has not won a title for a long time, and in the first year to win the championship, plus dominating the second year as he does now -­ all this is exceptional," Schumacher said.

"Do I see him in the long run in a Ferrari? I can only see him occasionally jumping into our car, to have some fun.

"Whether he seriously thinks about switching, you should ask him, but I cannot see much in all these stories. I get the same impression from discussions with [Fiat president] Luca di Montezemolo and [Ferrari director] Jean Todt.

"It is one thing to have some fun in a Formula One car and to drive around a test track, but quite another to compete in Grand Prix racing and fight for a Championship!"

Rossi himself was critical of Brawn's comments, saying last week that he will not have time next season to test regularly.

"I heard Ross Brawn's words with a smile," the Italian said. "Maybe for programmes regarding myself it would be nice if I too was informed about them. Instead I don't know anything about that and it's not in my plans."

Ferrari refused to comment on Rossi's remarks but a team spokesman clarified that the Italians are in touch with Rossi and that Brawn's comments were explained to Rossi in private.

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