Valentino Rossi's Formula 1 career takes another step forward next week, when the 26 year-old MotoGP champion will join the Ferrari F1 team in Valencia, Spain for an open, three-day test with other Formula 1 teams.
Rossi (shown at right with Michael Schumacher) has previously driven a Ferrari F1 car in closed tests at Ferrari's private Fiorano circuit, but this will be his first time on an international track with a field of F1 regulars. Mark Webber, lead driver for Williams F1, will be at the test session and told reporters, "He's quite brave, really, to come in and share the circuit with the rest of us. The guy has obviously got unbelievable talent, we know that, and he definitely knows which way is up. But to throw him out there on the track with the rest of us...who knows..."

Rossi will be driving an F2004, while Ferrari regulars Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa will test the new F248.

For Ferrari to invest time and effort in Rossi at this critical time of the year, as the team readies for the season opener in March, is a good indication of how seriously the team is considering developing Rossi into a Formula 1 driver. It should be interesting to watch.

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