In a historic moment for Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi, and their respective sports, the pair completed an unprecedented track day as each swapped machinery at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Valentino Rossi drove the Mercedes-AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+, the car Lewis used to win the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, whilst Lewis rode the 2019 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 bike that only weeks earlier had been piloted by Valentino at the very same circuit.
The significance of the occasion was not lost on either Lewis or Valentino who have made no secret of their admiration and respect for each other in recent years. Acting as mentors for one another, the pair were able to complete multiple runs on each other’s machinery, and share insights and learnings about each other’s craft.
The six-time Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton said: “It’s so awesome to see a legend like Valentino in the car. 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.”
Of his time out on track riding the Yamaha YZR-M1 with Rossi he added: “It was so cool to be out on track and see Valentino ahead of me on the same bike.”
For the nine-time MotoGP World Champion, Valentino Rossi, said: “I was a big fan of Lewis’ before but now I am even more. 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.”