A number of Formula One drivers have a lot of admiration for their 2-wheeled counterparts in MotoGP. The sheer excitement and unpredictability of the sport keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Lewis Hamilton has already tested a few superbikes, and some MotoGP riders like Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, have tested Formula One cars. However, Max Verstappen, may not be able to join those ranks anytime soon.
Back in the early years of Formula One, Mike Hailwood competed in both Formula One and MotoGP. Hailwood won the 250cc Championship in 1961 and the 500cc in 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965. He also raced in Formula One, but he could only manage two podiums during his tenure.
Earlier, there was talk of MotoGP CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta being urged to take over F1, instigated by Dr. Helmut Marko. Marko believes that tyres are the biggest issue facing F1, and Ezpeleta can solve it. Max Verstappen also expressed his admiration for MotoGP as well.
He said, “I like to watch MotoGP because you’re never really sure who will win.”
“The riders can be competitive even with a satellite team. If we can learn something from that, it would be good.”
The level of competition in the sport, even in the junior Moto3 and Moto2 classes, is what is lucrative for many Formula One drivers, surmised Marko.
Marko said, “It’s no wonder that the Formula 1 drivers are excited about looking at MotoGP and wanting to try a machine like that.”
“But I have forbidden it for Max Verstappen. He is still too unreasonable to do that,”
Marko’s issue is not with age, as the youngest MotoGP rider in the 2019 season is 20-year old Fabio Quartararo. Also, in the Moto3 class, the junior most class, riders as young as 15-16 years old, race each other. Instead, Marko was insinuating about the maturity of Max Verstappen and his aggressive nature could possibly be dangerous.
MotoGP takes rider safety VERY seriously, and there have been a number of fatalities. Within the last decade, there have been at least three fatalities, in chronological order, Shoya Tomizawa (2010, Moto2), Marco Simoncelli (2011, MotoGP), Luis Salom (2016, Moto2).
Also, in 2018, Moto2 rider Romano Fenati was racing alongside Stefano Manzi when the former grabbed the brake lever of Manzi’s bike, almost causing an accident. Fenati was disqualified from that race, sacked by his team for the remainder of the year and later moved back down to the Moto3 class.