Lewis Hamilton & Valentino Rossi on what it was like swapping rides for a day

LEWIS HAMILTON on Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP bike, Rossi at the wheel of Hamilton’s F1 car – how Monster Energy pulled that one off we’ll never know.

Hands down, PR stunt of the year. Just as fascinating is this exclusive chat between the pair.

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An exclusive chat between between Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi[/caption]

Talking about the differences between F1 and MotoGP . . .

ROSSI: It is exactly the same feeling. From 0 to 100, the F1 car is the same as MotoGP. But the difference with the car is that you can go a lot, lot faster in the corners.

LEWIS: And you can take more risks.

ROSSI: Yes. With the car it is more difficult to manage the speed. With the bike you have to manage some other things like the position and the lack of grip because the tyres are smaller. But the feeling is similar.

Rossi: ‘I think we are similar in terms of victories’

Talking about John Surtees, the only world champion on two wheels and four . . .

ROSSI: Surtees did something incredible but I don’t think it is possible today. You need your entire life to be strong with the motorcycle or the car. You don’t have time to do both.

LEWIS: It’s like being the master or the doctor at something. It takes a long, long time to master your craft.

LEWIS: When you started testing F1 did you want to race?

Lewis: ‘Everyone loves you in your sport, man, and from my sport, the whole world loves you’

ROSSI: At the end of 2006, I was quite close. I think it was very interesting and a great adventure but difficult. I’m not able to achieve the same result with F1 and I was not ready to stop with bikes.

ROSSI: Now it is impossible because you make 22 races in F1, we make 20 in Moto GP, so the weekends are finished. It is possible maybe to try to race with the cars, I want a go, but not at the level of F1, with a normal car.

LEWIS: You’ve done rally.

ROSSI: Or the rally.

Rossi: ‘Sometimes it is strange to see the reaction of the people when they see us, no?’

ROSSI: I think we are similar in terms of victories. You are second?

LEWIS: Yes, to Michael (Schumacher).

ROSSI: And I am second behind (Giacomo) Agostini. I am first in MotoGP with 89. How many do you have in F1?

LEWIS: 84.

Lewis: ‘Just to see your success and your constant drive for perfection, that inspires me’

ROSSI: 84. So, we are five apart.

LEWIS: That’s crazy.

ROSSI: You have time, because you are younger. But I am second because Agostini won more in 250 and 350. So overall I am second, like you.

On the subject of fame . . .

ROSSI: Sometimes it is strange to see the reaction of the people when they see us, no? It’s difficult at the beginning because you have to change your life. But after some years, you learn to manage and you can still enjoy.

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Rossi attends the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Presentation at the Telefonica tower in 2016[/caption]

LEWIS: Yeah, absolutely. It was a shock for me initially. And the thing is, it continues to grow as more people discover you so it happens more and more. But it’s a real privileged position to be in. Every racetrack I go, it’s Valentino everywhere, it’s so cool, man.

ROSSI: It is so cool. It’s a great emotion every time.

LEWIS: Everyone loves you in your sport, man, and from my sport, the whole world loves you.

ROSSI: Is it true, the story you went to Ron Dennis?

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Hamilton celebrates on the podium after winning the Chinese F1 Grand Prix in April this year[/caption]

LEWIS: Yeah, when I was ten.

ROSSI: This is good, huh, where did you meet him?

LEWIS: At the Autosport Awards in London. I went straight up to him and said: “I’m Lewis Hamilton. One day I want to be world champion in your car.” Straight. He made a note in my autograph book saying “phone me in nine years” but three years later he called me.

ROSSI: Yeah, great.

LEWIS: I still have this book. I think one day I want to do like a small museum for people to come and see what is possible, y’know, and this book will be in there.

On the car/bike swap . . .


Hamilton celebrates Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix win in December this year[/caption]

LEWIS: Just to see your success and your constant drive for perfection, that inspires me. We are similar in terms of mentality. To get the opportunity to be on track with you and see you ahead is crazy. Thank you so much for being here and doing this with me.

ROSSI: It’s a shame that we don’t have two cars.

LEWIS: I said that, too. That would have been so cool.

ROSSI: You’ll have to bring another one.

LEWIS: Next time. Hopefully this won’t be the last time we get to do something cool like this. And I still have to come to the dirt bike track.

ROSSI: Yeah, yeah, whenever you want, we are there.

LEWIS: When we are on Zimmer frames we’ll still be riding.



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