Formula 1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali has led tributes for Valentino Rossi after the nine-time MotoGP champion announced his retirement. Rossi confirmed on yesterday that the 2021 season will be his last after 26 years of grand prix racing. Although famed for his efforts on two wheels, Rossi came close on a number of occasions to making the switch to Formula 1.
Most notably, the Italian claimed to have spoken with Ferrari in 2009 about serving as Felipe Massa’s replacement for Monza with the Brazilian out injured after his Hungarian Grand Prix crash.
Formula 1 Reacts to Valentino Rossi’s Retirement Announcement
“Valentino Rossi has given so much to motorsport and to fans globally he is a true hero,” said Domenicali. “It will be very strange not to see him on the bike next season but what he has achieved is incredible and part of history forever. Best of luck for the future my friend.”