Rossi - now things are getting serious

The news that Valentino Rossi is to test for Ferrari next week in Valencia is a clear indication that Ferrari is getting serious about the idea of running the high-profile motorcycle racer in Formula 1 in the future. Rossi has clearly shown some pace in the tests as well because otherwise Ferrari would not be wasting time and energy at a critical time of the year when there is much work to be done.

More importantly the test marks Rossi's first attempt to run F1 on an international track with other cars about which indicates that the testing programme is broadening to give him experience in different environments.

And let us not forget that all of this is being done at a time when Rossi is a Gauloises-sponsored motorcycle racer which can only mean that there are clauses in the contracts with Yamaha which allow him to go off to test for a Marlboro-sponsored team.

On top of all of this let us not forget that Ferrari is being linked heavily with the Italian broadband company Alice, which has had a close association with Rossi and has used him heavily in its advertising campaigns. However things have changed in recent days with Rossi signing a one-year promotional deal with rival company Fastweb.

Rossi will test an F2004 rather than the new Ferrari 248 F1.

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