The hype has been building for weeks, and it has finally happened: the LH44 VR46 vehicle swap. Lewis Hamilton (LH44) and Valentino Rossi (VR46) completed an unprecedented track day as each swapped race machinery at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.

In the LH44 VR46 vehicle swap Valentino Rossi drove the Mercedes-AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+. It is the same car that powered Hamilton to the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship. On the same day, and even at the same time for photographic purposes, Lewis rode the 2019 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 bike that only weeks earlier had been piloted by Valentino at the very same circuit.

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Mutual respect

Lewis and Valentino have made no secret of their admiration and respect for each other in recent years. Acting as mentors for one another, the pair were able to complete multiple runs on each other’s machinery and share insights and learnings about each other’s craft. The two champions have no fewer than 15 world titles between them.

The six-time Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton: “It’s so awesome to see a legend like Valentino in the car. I’m excited for him, for discovering the car for the first time. Reminds me of my first time in a F1 car. When you see all the team around you, it’s just a different animal.”

Of his time out on track riding the Yamaha YZR-M1 with Rossi he added, “It was so cool to be out on track and see Valentino ahead of me on the same bike.”

For the nine-time MotoGP World Champion, Valentino Rossi: “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.”

You can see some action from the LH44 VR46 vehicle swap here: