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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Schumacher praises Rossi
Valentino Rossi checks out the cockpit of a Formula One Ferrari in Melbourne last March
Rossi was a guest of Ferrari at this year's Australian Grand Prix
World champion Michael Schumacher has admitted he was impressed by world motorcycle champion Valentino Rossi's Formula One driving skills.

Rossi drove a Ferrari F1 car at the team's Fiorano test track on Tuesday.

"He got on pretty good. He took some time to get into it but in the end I think he handled it very impressively," said Schumacher.

But the German said he did not know whether Rossi could be good enough to drive in Formula One at the top level.

"I would probably say he would come to a certain level which would be maybe competitive but to come to the final bit is usually the difficult bit," said Schumacher.

"But I don't think that is the point because he just wanted to enjoy himself."

Rossi completed about 20 laps in one of this year's F2004 cars on Tuesday, the website of Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper said.

It was the first time the 25-year-old Italian, who has often spoken of his desire to race in F1, had driven a Grand Prix car.

According to unofficial timing, Rossi set a best lap of 59.9secs, about three seconds slower than the lap record.

Rossi had a couple of spins, but his speed was impressive considering his total lack of experience.

Rossi stuns with debut win
18 Apr 04  |  Motorbikes
Ferrari offer test to Rossi
13 Oct 03  |  Formula One
Rossi cool on F1 spot
06 Oct 02  |  Formula One

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