• May 25, 2006
In a statement to the Italian press Wednesday, MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi announced, "No Formula One, at least for the moment. I'm staying with bikes." The announcement came a day after Rossi was honored with the "Spirit of Sport" award at the annual Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona (photo at right), for his contributions to MotoGP during his five years as World Champion.
Rossi's announcement will disappoint the Ferrari tifosi, who were hopeful that Rossi's tests for the team would again see an Italian behind the wheel of the red cars. With the ultra-competitive Ferrar F1 team, Rossi also had a shot at becoming only the second man (after England's John Surtees) to win world championships on both two and four wheels.

Wednesday's announcement leaves Ferrari's driver lineup for the 2007 season in a state of complete confusion, at least for outsiders. Michael Schumacher has yet to decide whether or not he will continue to drive for the team next year, and Felipe Massa is on a one-year contract for this season. Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen, currently driving for McLaren, is widely rumored to have signed a deal with Ferrari, but that agreement could well fall apart if Schumacher returns.

For his part, Michael Schumacher expressed his regret at Rossi's decision, saying, "I think he has a lot of talent in terms of driving... It is sad but that's the way it is."

Rossi, meanwhile, is not enjoying a good start to the 2006 MotoGP season, as his Yamaha factory team is struggling with performance and reliability issues.

[Source: Reuters, Yamaha Racing, Sportinglife.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Though I think Rossi in F1 would be great, I am glad that he is staying in GP for a while there is still so much more for him to accomplish, I am ready to see a good fight with him and Pedrosa, but I am afraid that it will not happen till next year, Rossi's bad luck has brought him a couple DNF's but he is still the best out there
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm not sure about whether or not MotoGP requires more skill that F1. Driving those cars at that speed lap after lap is not easy. If you consider tracks like Monace, then one mistake is all it takes to go out of the race. So F1 does require a lot of skill. It also requires more fitness than MotoGP. The G forces in F1 are way higher than MotoGP. Given a choice of watching Schumacher fight Alonso at say Monza vs watching Rossi fight Biaggi at the same circuit, I would pick Schumacher vs Alonso. F1 is not just about cars, its also about pit stops and strategy so its that much more exciting.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I question why Rossi would turn this down especially after meeting him in person and seeing his competitive drive for racing... i woul dfigure he would jomp at the opportunity!
      • 8 Years Ago
      There are two possible reasons. Reason number one, he was pretty decent during the testing, but he would only be around an average driver. Why would anyone go from best in their profesion to be average in an other, even if it was a more prestigious profesion. Or the second explanation: he was never good enough to be even belong in F1. In his tests, I think it was reported that he was "only" a couple of seconds behind. Well, a couple of seconds is the difference between the best driver and the worst. I think he reached his potential after a few tests, and when he has a couple of seconds behind the Ferrari test drivers, that means that he was not good enough for F1, definately not good enough for F1.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree that it's a huge letdown.

      Though I wouldn't exactly call the current F1 roster "dull" by any means. Except for Raikonnen...listening to that man talk puts me to sleep.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #10, Rossi was driving a V10-powered Ferrari F2004.. not even the POS F2005. The other drivers taking part in the testing were in their V8-powered 2006 cars.

      When put into context his testing effort was nothing special really.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Poe, as the person below you said that he was running a faster race car, and was still 12 out of 16. He had a lot more horsepower, probably about 200 hp on the other racers, and was still 12th out of 16.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think if he had a lock on the current Moto GP championship and no real competition (like last season), he'd probably be bored and make the jump to F1, but that's not the case this year at all. He's DNF'd the last TWO races and is WAY back in the championship points race. He's getting some good competition from the likes of Hayden, Melandri and rookie Pedrosa among others. He's not out of it yet, but he's got his work cut out for him. I'm glad he's staying. When he's on (and his bike holds up), there is simply no touching him. It's incredible to watch.

      • 8 Years Ago
      You haven't a clue if you think driving any car, even a formula car, is more physically taxing than riding a bike.

      I don't think Rossi would excel like he does at MotoGP. Riding at his level (or well, anyone in MotoGP) requires you to be a purist. The top Formula 1 drivers aren't necessarily the best outright drivers, but those who can use the car's technology to their advantage. If Rossi were to drive Formula 1 in the 80s, without all the gizmos and gadgets...versus Senna, Prost, Lauda, etc...I think he would be right up with them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I see alfred e. newman is back at it again
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Or the second explanation: he was never good enough to be even belong in F1. In his tests, I think it was reported that he was "only" a couple of seconds behind. Well, a couple of seconds is the difference between the best driver and the worst. I think he reached his potential after a few tests, and when he has a couple of seconds behind the Ferrari test drivers, that means that he was not good enough for F1, definately not good enough for F1."

      Sorry, I respectfully disagree - and this article supports my opinion:

      http://www.motorcycledaily.com/02february06_rossiferrari.htm

      By his THIRD DAY of testing he was running 12th out of 16 vs. experienced drivers - and out-ran a couple of big names - like Juan Montoya. There's no doubt in my mind that with a little bit of experience, he would be running at the front.

      I'm glad he's sticking with Moto GP though. I'd MUCH rather watch that than F1.