Maranello, Sunday: Formula One fans worldwide have gathered to celebrate Rossi Day, an annual period of baseless speculation about MotoGP ace Valentino Rossi’s proposed move to F1.
The nine-time world champion on two wheels was first linked with an F1 move in 2006, when he tested for Ferrari at Valencia. Since then annual rumours have surfaced about Rossi reevaluating his future in motorcycle racing, with a view to possibly driving on four wheels instead.
“The absurdity and persistence of these rumours are exactly why we love them so much,” one Rossi Day fanatic told reporters. “This year it’s all based around the fact that Valentino will be driving a two-year-old Ferrari at one of the team’s pre-season tests. Quite obviously this is a prelude to an F1 drive, just like it wasn’t the last several times he tried it.”
Rossi has rarely been particularly impressive in his F1 forays, spinning into the gravel on his first attempt at driving an F1 car and later lapping up to a second slower than actual Ferrari drivers. However, this has not stopped particularly adamant fans from proclaiming his switch to F1 as imminent: “Next year, or maybe the year after. For sure!” one fan revealed.
This years’ Rossi Day celebrations are likely to include a formal debate on whether or not Rossi will fall out of his F1 car like Michael Schumacher did when he tried motorcycle racing.