Italian newspaper La Repubblica has claimed today that Kimi Raikkonen and Valentino Rossi have both signed to drive for Scuderia Ferrari in 2007.
La Repubblica reports that Rossi – who has already tested an F1 car several times for Ferrari – will sign an 80 million euro, three year contract with the Scuderia, to run from 2007-09. Rossi – nicknamed ‘The Doctor’ – is one of sports most flamboyant characters and a marketing dream ticket, and has attracted legions of new fans to MotoGP dazzled by his antics and personlity. Ferrari’s major sponsors’ are believed to be very anxious to get him on-board, with Marlboro (if they continue retain a presence after tobacco advertising is abolished) and mobile phone giant Vodafone, both expected to stump up towards his wages. The 26-year old Italian – who recently signed a one year extension to his MotoGP Yamaha contract to take him up to the end of the 2006 season – would have to terminate the existing mobile phone deal he currently holds with Telecom Italia in order to join Ferrari.
No sources are cited in the newspaper report.