His remarkable performance not only raised eyebrows but also left a profound impression, signalling that the legendary two-wheel maestro had the skill set required to undertake the extraordinary journey from motorcycles to motorcar racing.
Vasseur: I was fast in F1
“It was true in the sense that, in 2004 when I won with Yamaha, Stefano Domenicali called me and he said ‘I have to let you test the car’,” Rossi told the Gianluca Gazzoli Podcast.
“We went to Fiorano to test the car. I was pretty fast and I lapped under the minute - 59’1.
“I remember that the mechanics were betting on whether I would lap above or below one minute and, in the end, I won.
“Then after those tests I went to Mugello. I also did a real test in Valencia. And there I had to choose. If I had said yes I would have raced with Minardi, the B team.
“And then if I had gone fast enough the goal and the path would have been to race with Ferrari. It was all up in the air. That was 2006."
However, the move never occurred with Rossi admitting that he didn't feel "ready to quit racing bikes" at the age of 27, as they were his "first passion". Minardi also ceased to exist by the end of 2005, being acquired by Red Bull to form Toro Rosso.
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