Massimo Rivola steps down as Ferrari sporting director

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Massimo Rivola has stepped down from the role of sporting director at Scuderia Ferrari to take over from Luca Baldisserri as boss of the Italian marque’s driver academy.

Rivola joined Ferrari back in 2009 as sporting director following a long stint with Toro Rosso and its predecessor, Minardi.

Rivola will step away from the pit wall for the 2016 season following the departure of Ferrari Driver Academy manager Luca Baldisserri, who followed Canadian youngster Lance Stroll to Williams.

“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 pit wall, it’s time to make a pit stop,” Rivola wrote to the Scuderia Ferrari fan club, of which he is president.

“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 that 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.”

The FDA will be at least two drivers lighter in 2016 following Stroll’s move to Williams and the departure of GP2 racer Raffaele Marciello.