Rivola leaves Ferrari F1 team to head FDA

Ferrari's sporting director Massimo Rivola has confirmed he will leave the Formula 1 team to head the Italian squad's young driver programme.

Rivola leaves Ferrari F1 team to head FDA
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari with Massimo Rivola, Ferrari Sporting Director
Massimo Rivola, Ferrari Sporting Director celebrates at the podium
(L to R): Massimo Rivola, Ferrari Sporting Director with Maurizio Arrivabene, Ferrari Team Principal
Massimo Rivola, Ferrari Sporting Director; Fernando Alonso, Ferrari; Marco Mattiacci, Ferrari Team Principal; Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari and members of the Ferrari and Marussia F1 Team show their support for Jules Bianchi
(L to R): Massimo Rivola, Ferrari Sporting Director with Felipe Massa, Williams

Rivola, who has been with Ferrari since the 2009 season, will replace Luca Baldisserri as head of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

Baldisserri left the Maranello squad to focus on managing the career of Canadian driver Lance Stroll, himself a former Ferrari protege before switching to Williams late last year.

Rivola joined Formula 1 in 1998, working in the marketing department of the Minardi team.

He was promoted to become sporting director and team manager of the Italian team in 2005.

He was still the team manager of the team when it changed ownership to become Toro Rosso, before leaving for Ferrari in 2009.

In a letter sent to the fans, 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 with 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."

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