Seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi had what it takes to be a Formula 1 driver according to Luca di Montezemolo.
All the way back in 2004, the Italian was given the chance to drive Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari, but di Montezemolo insists it was intended as nothing more than a favourable gesture initially, until he showed what he could do.
"To tell you the truth, Rossi’s first test on the Ferrari was out of courtesy, to fulfil the wish of a great champion," di Montezemolo told Motorsport. "Then I saw he was doing great and we thought about having him race a Sauber for a year."
Ultimately, a move to F1 would never materialise, with di Montezemolo adding Rossi made a wise career decision to stick with MotoGP.
"Valentino is intelligent," di Montezemolo continued. "He was number one in MotoGP and preferred to continue to be number one rather than risk being four or five in F1.
"If he had chosen Formula 1, he would have had to put everything aside. He would have had to work hard to become constant. Rossi was fast, but not constantly in an F1 car."