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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report


Rossi has the talent for F1: Schumacher

February 02, 2006 20:29 IST

Motorcycling world champion Valentino Rossi can make the leap to Formula One, according to Ferrari's Michael Schumacher.

Valentino Rossi (left) and Michael Schumacher

"Absolutely, it's completely possible for him," the seven-times champion told France's L'Equipe newspaper on Thursday.

"He has enough talent to get there. I would even say that it is easier to go from bikes to cars than the other way round," added the German, who tested a Ducati MotoGP bike last year after Rossi had driven his Ferrari.

"And when, like him, you have this special feeling on two wheels, you can use it perfectly on four wheels."

Rossi, 26, was in his third and final day of his most serious test yet with Ferrari on Thursday, taking to the track alongside other Formula One drivers at the Valencia circuit in eastern Spain.

The Italian won rave reviews for his performance on Wednesday when he lapped little more than a second slower than Schumacher and faster than six other drivers after an embarrassing spin on Tuesday.

"Rossi astonishes," declared Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport in a front page headline, with drivers applauding the MotoGP champion.

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"It's nice that he's driving with us," said BMW's Canadian Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 champion. "Looking at how he's going, however, he should give up motorbikes and join us. Maybe I should move to bikes.

"I think it's perfectly normal that he should be driving well, even if the last few tenths are always the hardest to gain."

Formula One rookie Nico Rosberg, who makes his debut for the Williams team in Bahrain on March 12, said Rossi clearly had what it takes.

"He definitely has the talent for this sport but it remains to be seen how he gets on in a race," added the German. "He has an advantage in that he is using a V10 but for a first day it's not bad."

Schumacher said it was a novel sensation to be at a track and have someone else attract all the attention.

"It's better, because it's easier for me to work."

Asked whether he had spoken to Rossi, he told L'Equipe: "Yes, of course. But I don't think he needs my advice."
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