Late last week, we told you about an upcoming racetrack duel between Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton and MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi—with the two world champs switching vehicles. Hamilton would ride Rossi’s MotoGP bike at Valencia, and Rossi would rip around in Hamilton’s F1 car.
The test went down on Monday, and afterwards, everything was mysteriously quiet. Why, in today’s world of mad social media surveillance, did we not hear about the results immediately? Who knows.
But now, we do know that Rossi managed to get within a second and a half of Hamilton’s time in the car, while Hamilton on the MotoGP bike was four seconds back of Rossi’s time. Does it really mean anything? Nope, because it’s all apples and oranges. But it’s fun to see, anyway. There’s more info in the presser below, and you can watch the video here.
Historic machinery swap completed between Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi in Valencia
12.12.2019: #LH44VR46 Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo In a historic moment for both Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi, and their respective sports, the pair completed an unprecedented track day as each swapped machinery.
Valentino Rossi drove The Mercedes-AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+, a car that won the 2017 FIA Formula One™ World Championship with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport at the hands of Lewis Hamilton, whilst Lewis rode the 2019 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 bike that only weeks earlier had been piloted by Valentino at the very same circuit.
The significance of the occasion was not lost on either Lewis or Valentino who have made no secret of their admiration and respect for each other in recent years. Acting as mentors for one aother, the pair were able to complete multiple runs on each other’s machinery and share insights and learnings about each other’s craft.
The six-time Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton: “It’s so awesome to see a legend like Valentino in the car. I’m excited for him, for discovering the car for the first time. Reminds me of my first time in a F1 car. When you see all the team around you, it’s just a different animal.”
Of his time out on track riding the Yamaha YZR-M1 with Rossi he added, “It was so cool to be out on track and see Valentino ahead of me on the same bike.”
For the nine-time MotoGP World Champion, Valentino Rossi: “I was a big fan of Lewis’ before but now I am even more. We had a fantastic day where the two top classes of motorsports not only met but worked together. I felt like a real F1 driver for a day. I didn’t want the day to end.
“I also rode the YZR-M1 on track with Lewis. It was a proud moment for the team to share our passion with him. Technically, Valencia is a hard track and today was windy so at one point I thought it would be difficult for Lewis to continue, but he was brilliant on the bike and his position on the M1 was great. I think he had loads of fun which is the main thing.”
Interesting “race”, but no surprise Rossi won overall. For me, it was expected that Rossi would be better in the car than Hamilton would be on the bike. If memory serves, I believe Rossi drove Schumacher’s Ferrari Years ago and was only a few seconds back of Michael’s time. Hamilton was impressive on the bike, but no way he was gonna be close to Rossi at speed.