Valentino Rossi is to test for Ferrari again later this month as a reward for winning another MotoGP championship, but will use an older chassis this time.
Rossi (left) had several tests with the squad when he briefly considered moving to Formula 1 in 2006, and then had another two-day session in November 2008 when he requested an outing following his MotoGP title success that year.
Having wrapped up his ninth motorcycling world crown in 2009, Rossi again asked if he could have a Ferrari F1 run. Team boss Stefano Domenicali said Ferrari would happily oblige, but that current test restrictions meant he could not use the latest car. Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa had to use 2007 cars provided by Ferrari's client department last year when testing prior to a potential comeback and following injury, respectively.
"I can confirm that Valentino, as we promised when he won his championship last year, is going to test a historical Ferrari at Barcelona on Jan. 20-21," said Domenicali. "After that, Valentino knows we're going to have to focus on our goals of the 2010 season."
Although Rossi ruled out an F1 career when he decided against a switch in 2007 and has since insisted that all F1 tests are purely for fun, Domenicali believes he could still be a candidate for Ferrari if three-car teams were ever permitted. "A pilot such as Valentino, should he be interested, could be consistent with this type of project," said Domenicali.
He added that the door would also be open for Casey Stoner if he wanted to try an F1 car. The Ducati rider said earlier this week that he was pondering a car racing career when his MotoGP racing days were over, although he suggested this would be in the Australian V8 Supercar series rather than F1.
"I've heard that he will concentrate on the [MotoGP] season but that he would like to better understand the world of cars and Formula 1, so we will see," Domenicali replied when asked why Ferrari was testing Rossi but not Stoner, despite its close relationship with Ducati. "Without entering into a path that is outside my competence, the main goal of Casey and Ducati is winning the championship this year. After that, we'll see."