“I’m old for F1”

The Doctor is ready for his debut in the GT World Challenge Europe in the 3 Hours of Imola on Sunday 3 April. Here is the free practice, pre-qualifying, qualifying and endurance race program. Meanwhile, Rossi spoke with Lewis Hamilton during a digital event. “Formula 1? I’m too old “

Giulio Masperi

– imola (bologna)

Valentino Rossi will board his Audi R8 Lms GT3 for the first official free practice session on the morning of Saturday 2 April, at the Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit in Imola, which hosts the first round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe championship. Meanwhile, on the afternoon of Friday 1 April on the Santerno track the only super sports cars of the same series to run were those of the gentlemen drivers with a Bronze license (Valentino has the higher license, Silver). A Friday in which the driver from Pesaro visited Imola for some promotional activities with the Wrt team, and spoke remotely with Lewis Hamilton, on the occasion of a virtual meeting organized by Iwc.


From Imola to Geneva, the remote dialogue “Being a Pilot” between Valentino Rossi and Lewis Hamilton, organized on Friday 1 April on the YouTube channel of the Iwc watch company, allowed the two champions to discuss their shared passion for engines. “Hi Vale, you will never leave a racetrack” said the Formula 1 driver, greeting VR46 who was in connection from Imola. “I’m really excited – the 43 year old from Pesaro replied -. A new adventure begins, a second chapter of my career at the wheel of racing cars ”. And to Hamilton’s explicit question, who asked when Rossi would land in Formula 1, Vale replied with a smile: “I’m too old, I think”.


The two champions, 16 world titles in two, recalled the experience in Valencia in 2019 (when Rossi tested the Mercedes-Amg F1 and Hamilton the Yamaha MotoGP). “I’ve always loved two wheels since I was a kid, when I watched racing with my father on TV,” said Hamilton. The parallels between car and motorcycle racing highlighted during the dialogue are interesting: “The two disciplines are actually very connected – explained Valentino Rossi -. You often ride on the same circuits, and you have to think about where to brake, how to set the technique “. As for the differences, Hamilton added: “The corner entry changes. In general, when you drive you always have to think with two curves ahead, looking ahead. Speaking of MotoGP, when I see the riders speeding at 360 km / h on two wheels, I feel a unique emotion, it’s incredible ”.


The nine-time world champion in MotoGP is making his debut in an automobile championship. Rossi shares the Audi R8 Lms GT3 Evo II with the Swiss Nico Müller and the Belgian Frédéric Vervisch, specialists in covered wheel cars. Saturday 2 April the first session of free tests officers (from 9 to 10.30) with the three drivers who will take turns at the wheel. On the same day, the intense program in Imola includes a second session called Pre-Qualifications (from 14.05 to 15.35), which is decisive for the start of the race if the qualifying session could not be held (for example due to bad weather). Sunday 3 April GT3 class cars are engaged in Qualifications (9-10), which determine the grid of the 3 Hours of Imola: green light from 3pm on Sunday.

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