Mike Stevens | Apr 23, 2010

THE BOSS of the Italian carmaker Fiat has backed calls for Valentino Rossi to switch to Formula One in 2011.

Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo this week said he wants F1's rules to be changed so that the Italian team can enter a third car for the multiple and reigning champion of MotoGP.

Sergio Marchionne, the Chief Executive of the Ferrari parent Fiat, admitted that Rossi at the wheel of a Maranello built single-seater is "a great idea".

"Luca says he would like to have a third Ferrari car with Valentino -- it's a great idea if he (Rossi) is willing to do it," Marchionne said.

The comments are despite Rossi's contractual ties to Fiat, with the carmaker a major sponsor of his MotoGP team Yamaha.

Marchionne said he "cannot say anything" about Rossi's future, with the 31-year-old's contract expiring this year.

(GMM)

 

F1 Back On Track As Cars Return To Europe

CHRISTIAN Horner on Thursday said delays caused by the Icelandic volcano will not disturb preparations for next month's Spanish Grand Prix.

With the sport's freight - and all the cars - stranded in China while FOM's 747s were grounded in Europe, it was feared that teams' car developments would not be ready for the next race in Barcelona.

Red Bull boss Horner said before departing Shanghai with his travelling companion Mark Webber that an F-duct should be on the RB6 in Spain "providing we make it back to Europe" soon.

McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh was also worried about the delay, explaining that if it (the delay) is a week or so ... it will become an issue".

We reported earlier on Thursday that the FOM freight has landed in Bilbao, and Horner confirmed that the team's trucks are due to arrive in Milton-Keynes "today".

"Thankfully, the way the calendar is with the extra week between the Chinese and Spanish grands prix, it (the delay) has a very limited impact," the Briton said.

Horner also said the bulk of the race team is also due back in the UK on Thursday afternoon.

(GMM)

 

Germans Think Schumacher Comeback A Mistake

MORE THAN 60 per cent of the respondents of a survey believe Michael Schumacher's decision to return to Formula One in 2010 was a mistake.

There has been much criticism of the seven time world champion's comeback after four races, as he trails his teammate Nico Rosberg's points tally by 40 points and has been outqualified on every occasion so far.

With results published on Thursday by the German news agency SID, the Dortmund-based German market research company Promit said 63.3 per cent of the respondents classified Schumacher's return a mistake.

Only 33.5 per cent had a positive opinion about the 41-year-old's comeback at the wheel of a Mercedes.

"Maybe he has lost his feeling for driving during the three years of his retirement," Schumacher's Benetton teammate Jos Verstappen wrote in his latest column in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

"What we are now seeing is that Schumacher is an ordinary man of flesh and blood and that even he cannot conduct magic," he added.

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