In Depth

F1 ace Lewis Hamilton and MotoGP star Valentino Rossi swap machines - video, pictures and social media posts

Rossi drove a Mercedes F1 car and Hamilton rode a Yamaha MotoGP bike

Six-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi held their long-awaited machine swap on Monday. 

Taking place at the Circuit de Valencia in Spain, the Monster Energy “one-day-only ride swap” saw 34-year-old Hamilton get the opportunity to ride a 2019 Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 bike while 40-year-old Rossi drove a 2017 Mercedes W08 F1 car. 

British star Hamilton and Italian ace Rossi both put in laps on the Yamaha bike. Planet F1 reports that Hamilton finished his run within four seconds of Rossi’s best time. In the Mercedes W08 Rossi was 1.5 seconds behind Hamilton’s best time. 

How the stars reacted to the swap 

Lewis Hamilton, via Sky Sports

“Honestly this has been the best year and this has just topped off. I wasn’t expecting to get to December and have this kind of high. 

“The bike is so hard to ride. I had one little spin with it but otherwise brought it back in one piece. I was just step by step learning, but it’s a very steep learning curve.”

Lewis Hamilton Valentino Rossi

Lewis Hamilton/Twitter

Valentino Rossi, via Autosport

“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.”

Main video: Motos a Fondo/YouTube

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