Schumi backs Rossi to make it in F1
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Schumi backs Rossi to make it in F1

World motorcycling champion has received backing in his pursuit of switching to Formula One from Schumacher.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 15:21 IST

World motorcycling champion Valentino Rossi has received backing in his pursuit of switching to Formula One from Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher, like Rossi a seven-time world champion, believes the Italian who has been testing for Ferrari in Spain this week has what it takes to make it on the Grand Prix circuit.

"He has enough talent to succeed," Schumacher told Thursday's L'Equipe.

"It's entirely possible for him. I'd even say it's easier to go from motorbikes to cars than the reverse. And when like Valentino you have this special feeling on two wheels you can easily use that with four."

Rossi, who is keen to switch to F1 in 2007, kept up with the pack in Wednesday's testing at the Ricardo Tormo circuit outside Valencia the day after the Italian's Ferrari veered off the track only 2.8 kilometres into his new experience in wet conditions.

On Wednesday he completed 52 laps to score the ninth-best time of the session.

The Italian, who turns 27 later this month, managed a best lap time of 1.12.856 to out drive seasoned drivers such as David Coulthard and Jarno Trulli.

Rossi had previously enjoyed two test run outs with Ferrari, whose technical director Ross Brawn will monitor his progress in view of a possible Grand Prix debut for the Italian in 2007.

Schumacher, commenting on Rossi's accident on Tuesday, said: "That mistake was understandable. When a driver sets off with wet tyres they cool down straight away on the first lap and so it's easy to skid. For him it would have been like driving on ice."

Schumacher said Rossi's appearance in testing had for once diverted the media spotlight away from him.

"It's a strange experience to see all the attention focused on him. In any event for me it's a welcome novelty. It's better as it's easier for me to get on with my job."

First Published: Feb 02, 2006 15:21 IST