Rivola leaves F1 for young driver program

The young driver program has certainly paid dividends for Red Bull when you consider Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat as well as Carlos Sainz and plucky teen Max Verstappen. The fact is, Dr. Helmut Marko has been doing a damn fine job of it of late.

Unfortunately Ferrari’s Driver Academy (FDA) hasn’t had as much luck and in many cases, it’s been purely tragic considering the loss of Jules Bianchi. Perhaps the team recognize the efficacy of getting a program back on its feet and to that point, it has a new head in the form of Massimo Rivola who has left the sporting director role in the F1 team to bottle lightning over at FDA.

“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.”

Teams have always had reserve drivers and junior programs to groom talent but Ferrari, if I’m honest, simply seems to poach the top drivers and that’s worked so far as the signing of Schumacher, Raikkonen, Alonso and Vettel can attest too.

However, times are changing and getting a stable of drivers under your belt has paid dividends for  other teams so it is most likely a good move but who knows what political machinations are happening on the pit wall and we all know Ferrari aren’t bashful about cutting heads.


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Paul KieferJr

Building up your base (or ammo) is always a good thing.

Bryan Beecroft

This is a demotion, like it or not. Ferrari support created ZERO loyalty when Lance “Not ready, in a hurry” Stroll bagged their support when daddy threw ridiculous Money at Williams. Stroll is not ‘Earning it”.

Negative Camber

I reckoned there may be some behind-the-scenes reasons. :)

Tom Firth

Baldeserri left to keep working with Lance Stroll, who left for Williams, Ferrari has dropped Marciello after two disappointing years (sadly) in GP2, believe Fuoco is still supported by FDA, and the other is a young Chinese driver, who I believe is in either his first or second year of car racing in 2016, so with the exception of the continuation of backing to Fuoco, 2016 is virtually a reset point for FDA.

Negative Camber

There are suggestions that Stroll will be replaced by Mick Schumacher in the Academy.

Tom Firth

Yeah, I read that. Least I read something about him potentially joining Prema this season, which would signal an alignment with Ferrari