Mike Stevens | Jun 9, 2010

Such is the sport's rumour-mill that Valentino Rossi badly breaking his leg has reignited speculation he might switch to Formula One sooner rather than later.

24 hours before he fell during MotoGP practice at Mugello last Saturday, the 31-year-old Italian admitted he would "like to explore the possibility" of racing a third Ferrari in F1.

With huge two-wheeled success behind him, the New York Times' F1 correspondent Brad Spurgeon has speculated that the injury may give Rossi pause for thought.

"Whatever his physical state, will he have the motivation (to come back to MotoGP)? Maybe now is the time to see Rossi go out a few more times testing a Ferrari F1 car, as he has done as recently as a few months ago.

"Personally, I'd love to see someone come along and try again to do what only John Surtees has done: be a world champion in both motorcycle racing and formula one," Spurgeon said.

Also in the wake of Rossi's crash, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo said the Maranello marque is fully behind Rossi in his return to full fitness.

"Everyone at Ferrari is with you at this difficult time," he said in a statement posted on the team's official website.

"We are sure that you will be back on track soon, even stronger than before.

"If during your convalescence you feel you would like to do some training on four wheels, then remember that the door to Maranello is always open to you," added Montezemolo.

(GMM)

 

Ecclestone Eyes Russian GP For 2014

According to reports, the F1 would could see a Grand Prix in Russia as early as 2014.

F1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone said in April that up to three venues were in the running for the Russian event, but that there is "a big push" from the resort city Sochi.

Located just north of the Georgian border and fronting the Black Sea, Sochi will also host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

"He (Ecclestone) suggests holding the first grand prix in autumn 2014," Deputy Regional Development Minister Yuri Reilyan is quoted by the business daily Vedomosti.

He added that Russia is ready to green-light construction of a circuit as soon as Ecclestone can "guarantee that the race will definitely take place, and the circuit will not be abandoned in the future".

The cost of the facility, to be built in the region of the Olympic Park in the Imeretinskaya Valley, is estimated at $200 million.

A draft project has already been agreed with regular F1 circuit designer Hermann Tilke.

"It's too early to speak about the budget. The final project is yet to be worked out, it will be done by an organisation committee to be established by the end of this year," said Reilyan.

(GMM)

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