Rossi plays down F1 move

Published: 14 October 2003

Newly-crowned MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has played down the rumours that he will be driving a Formula 1 car next year.

Rossi was offered a no-strings-attached test drive of the Ferrari F1 car earlier this week but has opted to delay a decision on whether to go for the test for at least a couple of weeks.

The Honda rider, who won his third successive world championship at Sepang last weekend, has been linked with a move to F1 a number of times before, but speculation of an imminent move was heightened this week when Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo invited Rossi on a test drive.

The offer was made shortly after Michael Shumacher clinched his sixth title in the car.

Rossi has always made it clear he wants to move to racing cars after proving his superiority on two wheels. The no-commitment test looked as though it might tempt him, butrecent speculation about a move to Yamaha indicated he may want to stay in MotoGP and prove his skill on a bike other than the dominant Honda RCV.

Rossi’s dad, Graziano, told Gazetta dello Sport that his son should wait until he finishes racing bikes before taking up the F1 offer.

Rossi has also said that his first love is rally driving. He told MCN last week: " I want to stay another two or three years in MotoGP but beyond that I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I love to drive cars. Last year I did the British RAC rally and that was just for fun but maybe one day I will be doing it properly. "

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