Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is keen to sign MotoGP ace Valentino Rossi for 2011 should the opportunity arise.
Rossi impressed Ferrari with his pace in a Formula One test last week and di Montezemolo says he would have no hesitation in offering the Italian a place in the Ferrari team.
“He's a friend and an undisputed champion, from Emilia-Romagna, a great fan of Formula 1 and engines, and also a potential Formula 1 champion," he said.
"If there was the possibility in 2011 and he wanted to do it and had the possibility for testing and adapting to F1, then why not?"
However, di Montezemolo’s plans depend on teams being allowed to run a third car in the championship. This is currently not allowed under the Concorde Agreement and the idea has met with disapproval from smaller teams.
The Ferrari chief believes a third car could be run as customer cars and would allow younger drivers the chance to gain valuable F1 experience.
"I spoke about the possibility of a third car, but I didn't say that Ferrari needs to have three cars," he said. "I'm well aware of the objections coming from the small teams. I was talking from the point of view of the interest of Formula 1 and of potential new entries in Formula 1.
"The third car could also be helpful for young drivers, to let them grow,” he said. “It's not right that a boy, who has never driven in Formula 1, starts into a race without training and tests. Here's the idea: I would happily give a Ferrari to an American, German or Australian team and let the car be managed by them.
"They would definitely spend less than if they had to build a car on their own from scratch. They could hand it over to a talented and strong driver or try it with a young driver with a certain potential.”