Lewis Hamilton says he believes MotoGP is “more hardcore” than Formula 1, while Valentino Rossi says “all the MotoGP riders love F1, and the F1 drivers love MotoGP”.
Swiss watchmaker IWC released a video featuring a conversation between Lewis Hamilton and MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi.
During the talk, Rossi commented on the next chapter of his career, following his retirement from MotoGP. This weekend the Italian competes in the 3 Hours of Imola race for GT World Challenge Europe.
“I am excited for a new adventure, racing with a car,” Rossi said.
“It is the second chapter of my career.”
This prompted Hamilton to ask him: “When are you coming to Formula 1?”
“Unfortunately I am too old,” Rossi replied.
“All the MotoGP riders love Formula 1, and the Formula 1 drivers love MotoGP,” Rossi continued.
“The two sports are at the top of motorsport and are very connected. To drive a car or to ride a motorcycle? It is different but also the same. The lines are similar, and the braking. You have to be fast.
“If you can drive a car, you can also ride a bike, and the opposite,” Valentino concluded.
Lewis then explained how he sees MotoGP as “more hardcore” than Formula 1.
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“[Valentino] spoke about Formula 1 drivers admiring MotoGP and Moto GP riders admiring F1,” the Briton said.
“For us… I personally think that MotoGP is more hardcore – these guys don’t have seatbelts!
“When they have a crash, it’s big. It’s very, very difficult for them to improve safety, so that fear factor is always there and it’s been there for years.
“Maybe there’s a bit of traction control and lift control but, generally, you can be thrown off. In [F1], it’s getting safer and safer and safer.”
“We had a huge crash just recently. [The] car [was] in flames and [Romain Grosjean got] out.
“So it’s gone from a racing series that was very, very dangerous and people were losing lives many years ago, and I think it’s going in the right direction.
“But we watch what he does [Rossi] and what they do in complete shock. These guys are doing 360 kilometres an hour at the end of the straight braking into Turn 1 at Mugello!
“And then they have the high-side moments and all that… it’s nerve-racking.”
Hamilton then explained the differences between racing in an open-wheel car and a motorcycle.
“Our skill is to adapt. On a bike you see lines that you wouldn’t normally take in a car.
“The braking is different but the goal is to get through as quickly as possible. We adapt – that is what we do best. It is second nature.
“I have been in a fighter jet and even that felt natural!”
Rossi interjected saying: “I am very scared but I want to try.”
To this Hamilton replied:
“The perception of your speed is different. You are faster but it doesn’t feel as fast as a bike on the ground. In a plane, I blacked out. It was 8Gs and I didn’t have a G-suit on.”
Ultimately, Rossi explained the feeling of racing in MotoGP.
“Speed is exciting. It is something you get used to. The first time you try MotoGP you think it is impossible but you improve. Your brain reacts. It is a great feeling.
“You are doing something very dangerous but with the feeling that, more or less, everything is under control,” the Italian concluded.