Too old Valentino Rossi won’t be considered for Ferrari Le Mans Hypercar effort

Ferrari firmly shuts the door on any suggestion Valentino Rossi could form part of its new Le Mans - WEC Hypercar effort from 2023

Valentino Rossi - Petronas SRT Yamaha

Valentino Rossi isn’t being considered for a drive in the new Ferrari Hypercar project that will herald its first fight for honours in the Le Mans 24 Hours since the 1970s.

This year has seen the introduction of a new formula of prototype sportscar racing - dubbed Hypercar - to replace the outgoing LMP1 class in the World Endurance Championship and at the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours round-the-clock classic.

Toyota has already committed with Peugeot joining the fray in 2022, before Ferrari makes its high-profile move into the category from 2023 with long-time collaborators AF Corse.

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With Ferrari’s entry tallying with a predicted MotoGP exit for Rossi, there was some talk he may be one of four drivers competing in the World Endurance Championship, or a guest outing in the Le Mans 24 Hours, an event ‘the Doctor’ has said he wants to enter in the coming years.

However, while Rossi and Ferrari have an association from his test outings in an F1 car during the early 2000s, the manufacturer says it is not considering putting marketing might over up-to-speed young talent on this occasion.

“With all due respect, I believe that Valentino is older than the current Endurance racers we will go up against tough opponents,” a Ferrari spokesperson told GPOne. “It is as if one of our drivers decides to race motorcycles. 

“Valentino is having fun with the GTs, maybe he could try in that class, but we think we have some good choices for Hypercar and we will choose amongst the emerging youngsters.”

Rossi is expected to expand his four-wheel racing programme when he leaves MotoGP, with GT racing - possibly with Ferrari in WEC - considered his most likely option.