Massimo Rivola leaves F1 duties to head up Ferrari Driver Academy

Massimo Rivola has confirmed he will be leaving Scuderia Ferrari to head to the Italian marque’s young driver programme.

Since the 2009 season, Rivola has been Ferrari’s Sporting Director, he will replace Luca Baldisserri as head of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

Rivola’s Formula 1 career started in 1998 when he joined the Minardi Formula 1 team working in the Marketing Department. In 2005, he was promoted to Sporting Director and Team Manager of the Italian team.

When the team changed ownership to become Scuderia Toro Rosso, he remained in the Team Manager role. Rivola left Toro Rosso in 2009 for Ferrari, taking on the role of Sporting Director.

In a letter sent to the team, Rivola wrote: “The rumours which have been circulating for a while are true, but I wanted you to be the first to know officially from me what Ferrari has decided: after 18 years of F1, of which 12 have been on the pitwall, it’s time to make a pitstop.

“Motivated by a great professional challenge, along with the company, I have decided to take care of the renewal of the Ferrari Driver Academy. The farewell of a driver as symbolic as Jules Bianchi is the spark which means that today it is a real ‘mission’.

“Also thanks to my previous experience, I was fortunate to work the many drivers and to do so when they were young, like Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso to name a few. To think that the champions of tomorrow for Ferrari will grow in the Academy is just amazing.

“I have always supported thinking of the young, the Ferrarista of the future, and now we have one more tool to do it together.”