Valentino Rossi's switch of MotoGP teams has moved him closer to formula one, according to his father.
The flamboyant motorcycle rider will move from Yamaha, his team for the past seven years, to the Italian marque Ducati for 2011 and 2012.
And his father Graziano, also a former motorcycle world championship rider, thinks the switch moves his son closer to F1.
"Valentino is not yet able to stop with the motorcycles," Rossi Snr told Italy's Sky Sport.
"But if in three or four years he will get into formula one, then what better road than with Ducati?" Graziano added. "This seems like a big step forward."
Ducati and Ferrari share a common sponsor in Marlboro, traditionally appearing together for the start-of-season Madonna di Campiglio media event.
Rossi has tested Ferrari's F1 cars on several occasions, and figures in the Maranello based team's push to contest grands prix with three cars.