Hamilton, Rossi reflect on epic F1/MotoGP swap at Valencia
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Yamaha's Valentino Rossi successfully undertook their F1 and MotoGP swap earlier this week at Valencia.
After months of talks regarding the swap between Hamilton and Rossi, the event finally took place earlier this week on Monday at Valencia amid secrecy as no media was allowed, while Mercedes, Yamaha, F1 and MotoGP, all chose to remain silent as well.
Hamilton did post about the time spent with Rossi but did not share anything until now when Monster Energy broke the chain as everyone involved then followed with photos and information along with quotes from the F1 driver and also the MotoGP rider.
Mercedes brought its 2017 title-winning F1 W08 car for Rossi, while Yamaha had its 2019 YZR-M1 for Hamilton. The day saw the Italian rider ride his Yamaha along with the British driver at the same time on the Spanish circuit with #46 and #44 on their bikes.
Before that Rossi rode alone on the track as well as he then drove the Mercedes F1 car alone and also with Hamilton on the bike. "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.
"Reminds me of my first time in a 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." This was the first time for Hamilton on a MotoGP bike after superbike run.
"I was already a big fan of Lewis before, but now even more," said Rossi. "We had a fantastic day, where the two top classes of motorsports not only met but worked together. Trying the W08 was a spectacular opportunity for me.
"I have tried an F1 car before, but much has changed since then. Sincerely, I was impressed with the car and its handling, as well as with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team, who were great to work with.
"They were very welcoming and made it easy for me to get familiar with the car. At first you get an amazing sensation of speed. The G-forces were not so bad, but it takes some getting used to. Once I got into the rhythm I could really push. It was a great pleasure.
"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 it was windy, so at one point I thought it could be difficult for Lewis, but he was brilliant on the bike and his position on the M1 was great.
"I really enjoyed sharing this experience with him, and I think he had loads of fun too, demonstrated by how reluctant he was to stop riding! I sincerely hope we will get to have many more experiences like this in the future."
Full gallery is here.
[Image courtesy: Monster Energy, Yamaha] [Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]