Hamilton, Rossi undertake ride swap in Valencia

Valentino Rossi drives a Mercedes F1 car while Lewis Hamilton follows on Rossi’s Yamaha MotoGP bike pic: Mercedes F1 Facebook

Newly crowned six time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi have taken part in a ride swap at Valencia.

Mercedes driver Hamilton swapped four wheels for two by jumping aboard Rossi’s 2019 Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 that raced the MotoGP season finale at the Spanish track, while Rossi took the wheel of a 2017 specification Mercedes W08 F1 car.

Images released show the pair conducted laps on track together aboard their new machines, with Hamilton’s bike displaying his customary #44 used in F1, while the iconic #46 was placed on Rossi’s Mercedes.

The pair were also pictured sharing the track aboard Yamaha MotoGP machinery.

Hamilton, who has shown a passion for motorcycles, thoroughly enjoyed the experience of not only riding the bike but sharing the track with seven-time MotoGP champion Rossi.

“It’s so awesome to see a legend like Valentino in the car,” said Hamilton. 

“I’m excited for him, for discovering the car for the first time. (It) reminds me of my first time in an F1 car. When you see all the team around you, it’s just a different animal.

“It was so cool to be out on track and see Valentino ahead of me on the same bike,” he added.

The outing was Rossi’s first in an F1 car since 2010 when he enjoyed one of several tests during his career with the Ferrari F1 team.

 Reflecting on the run, Rossi admitted he felt like an F1 driver for the day.

“I was a big fan of Lewis’ before but now I am even more,” said Rossi. 

“We had a fantastic day, where the two top classes of motorsports not only met, but worked together.

“I felt like a real F1 driver for a day. I didn’t want the day to end. I also rode the YZR-M1 on track with Lewis. It was a proud moment for the team to share our passion with him.

“Technically, Valencia is a hard track and today was windy so, at one point, I thought it would be difficult for Lewis to continue, but he was brilliant on the bike and his position on the M1 was great. I think he had loads of fun, which is the main thing.”

Pic: Monster Yamaha Facebook