Would Valentino Rossi and Lewis Hamilton Have Been Rivals in F1 in 2007? MotoGP’s Doctor Responds

Published 04/30/2022, 8:45 AM EDT
VALENCIA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 09: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes and Valentino Rossi of Italy and Yamaha Factory Racing swapped their respective helmets at the end of the #LH44VR46 test at Ricardo Tormo circuit of Valencia on December 09, 2019 in Valencia, Spain. Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi swapped their respective machinery in an unprecedented test between two motorsport icons. (Photo by Guido De Bortoli/Getty Images for Monster Energy)

Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi are two of the most iconic motorsport racers in the world. While Hamilton achieved greatness in Formula One, Rossi is the all-time leader in MotoGP in terms of championships won.

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But it is a lesser-known fact that the MotoGP legend was very close to getting an opportunity in Formula One. He discussed the opportunity when both he and Lewis sat down for a chat recently.

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This is the second high-profile meeting between the legends in front of the camera. They had previously swapped each other’s vehicles on the track in Valencia to ride them on the track. Both legends share an immense amount of respect for each other and their achievements. The Italian legend has previously mentioned that he shares a passion for Formula One cars in his downtime.

Valentino Rossi explains to Lewis Hamilton about his F1 test

Vale revealed he’s so passionate about the sport that he had to choose between riding cars or riding bikes. Hamilton asked him about his Formula One test back in 2006 and how it went down.

” At a certain point, I was quite close. Yes, at the end of 2006 I think seriously. So you need to make a program to drive another car before being the test driver. I think that is very very interesting and a great adventure, but difficult,” said Rossi.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 22, 2022, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during a press conference REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

“Yeah, and also for me, I’m not able to achieve the same results with the cars done with the bikes. And also I was not ready to stop with the bikes really,” said the Italian MotoGP legend.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Lewis Hamilton: Ranking His F1 World Titles From 2008 to 2020

Interestingly, it was the same year that Lewis Hamilton made his debut at the pinnacle of motorsports with McLaren.

So with his test at the end of 2006, it is safe to presume that he might have been testing with Ferrari in that. The Italian team were looking for a driver to replace Michael Schumacher who had just retired from the sport in 2006. They eventually went for Kimi Raikkonen as the preferred choice to replace the 7-time world champion in Ferrari.

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But if Rossi had got the drive with Ferrari, then instead of Raikkonen it would have been him who would be fighting against Lewis for the championship. But sadly, it never came to fruition for F1 fans.

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Devang Chauhan

1440 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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