JANUARY 20, 2016
Rivola leaves F1 team to head Ferrari 'academy'
Massimo Rivola, a long-time member of Ferrari's travelling F1 team, has confirmed he will have a different role in the future.
Mid-season last year, the sporting director was absent for the Spanish grand prix, amid reports he had been disciplined by boss Maurizio Arrivabene.
And speculation in the past few weeks has suggested Rivola will be leaving the team altogether to replace Luca Baldisserri.
In recent years, Baldisserri has headed Ferrari's driver development 'academy', but has reportedly now left the Italian marque altogether to follow Lance Stroll to Williams.
"The news that has circulated for days is made official today," read a report on Wednesday at Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Rivola confirmed it by writing an open letter to Ferrari fans. "It is important to me that with these rumours, you learn it from me," he wrote.
He began his F1 career at Minardi in 1998, becoming team manager when the team was known as Toro Rosso by 2006.
He moved to Ferrari in 2009, where he has been sporting director.
"After 18 years in formula one, 12 of them on the pit wall, the time has come for a pitstop," added Rivola.
"In consultation with Ferrari and as a great personal challenge, I will take care of the reorganisation of the driver academy."
Speed Week, a German-language publication, said Ferrari has not confirmed the report but plans to reveal its reorganisation probably next month.