Jack Leslie  |    |   0  |  17 December 2016

Valentino Rossi came 'very close' to racing in F1

MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi previously came “very close” to making the switch over to Formula 1, according to his father.

Rossi has won nine MotoGP world titles, seven of them in the premier class, and first tested an F1 car earlier in his career back in 2004.

It took place at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track alongside Michael Schumacher. He then tested in F1 several more times over the years.

The Italian was linked to an F1 drive numerous times, including when Felipe Massa was injured during the 2009 Hungarian GP weekend.

The Brazilian was ruled out of the rest of the season, with Ferrari eventually opting to replace him initially with Luca Badoer before bringing in Giancarlo Fisichella.

“Valentino was very close to driving in Formula 1,” Rossi’s father Graziano said in a video posted on the MotoGP website.

“Because the only thing which is comparable to a MotoGP bike is a Formula 1 car, and [competing in] other motorsport [categories] would be taking a little step down.

“Valentino refused [a move] – his love for MotoGP was too big.”

He added: “If the day after tomorrow he still wants to go fast in a rally car, for example, or in a touring car race, or something other than Formula 1, then he can. But only after he has ended his mission to be number one in the world.”

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