Fiat's new title sponsorship deal with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP team could result in a tie-up with Valentino Rossi in rallying - but only if the sport's regulations change
Rossi has made no secret of the fact that he is interested in a future in rallying after his bike career comes to an end, and with Fiat pushing their new Punto rally car, the Super2000, it would make sense for a partnership in the future.
However, although Rossi has said he would welcome any partnership with Fiat, he has made it clear that he is only interested in a career in a WRC car, which are very different to the Super2000.
"A collaboration with them (Fiat)? It can happen if an agreement is found," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "As for going rallying with them, I want a WRC car and this kind of car doesn't exist in Fiat at the moment."
The new Punto has been designed for the Super 2000 regulations, which are being considered as a possible replacement for the current WRC technical regulations in the future.
Luca de Meo, Fiat's Head of Brand and Commercial Activities, said that he would be keen for Valentino to get involved with their rally programme.
"We don't have a WRC car, but the Super Punto is terribly quick and it would be nice if Valentino tried it out," he explained. "These days we are giving new life, after 35 years, to the Abarth trademark.
"Their dream, and it's our dream too, is for the federation (FIA) to accept a change in the regulations, making the championship suitable to cars like ours."
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