You all know the drivers on the grid but what about the teams behind them and the key personnel that make racing every weekend a possibility?
Our latest in this series introduces Trident’s charismatic PR and Logistics Manager Alexia Rizzi, who keeps things ticking over for the Italian team. From getting the entire Trident team from their base in Milan to every race weekend to keeping track of the drivers and ensuring guests have the best time possible, here is one of the real characters in the F2 and F3 paddock.
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT’S YOUR POSITION WITH THE TEAM?
“My name is Alexia Rizzi. I started at Trident last February in 2022 and my role is PR and Logistics Manager. I manage all the public relations and logistics for the team, travel, where they eat, what they eat, where they sleep. Also I’m the problem solver of the team. I always say that everything is my problem but the car. That’s my role.”
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE?
“I was a fashion PR for a British brand. I used to work in fashion doing shows, photoshoots and all of those glamourous things. Compared to motorsport, the PR part of it isn’t that different. The area of my job changed but the actual job didn’t. I’m still solving problems, just with less fashion shows and in different clothes.”
WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT SKILLS YOU NEED IN YOUR ROLE?
“You have to be massively flexible. Really try to be creative for problem solving. Not flexibility in terms of switching tasks, but also not just focused on one thing at a time. You have to be quick to change your focus. One minute you’re solving a problem with a mechanic that’s hurt himself doing his job and the next you’re greeting some very important guests for the team.”
WHAT DOES AN AVERAGE RACE WEEKEND LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
“On Wednesday and Thursday, I set up the weekend. I set up the passes, making sure I know who’s coming and if there’s any last-minute guests. I always say that my timetable is the opposite of the team. The mechanics and engineers, they have the most adrenaline on Sunday while I’m relaxing on Sunday. My busiest day is Wednesday and Thursday when I’m setting up everything.
“Thursday there are a lot of PR activities, so I have to make sure the drivers know their schedules. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I don’t relax but it’s a bit easier because everything is already sorted out, the problems are on Wednesday and Thursday. I make sure that everything goes smoothly with guests and that they have a great time. I also manage some social media content while I can as I’m running around doing that.”
IS THERE ANY PREPARATION YOU HAVE TO DO AHEAD OF A WEEKEND?
“Before I come to the events, I have to arrange all of the travel and make sure everyone knows which flights they’re going to take, how they’re getting to the airport. I make sure all the travel plans are set up.”
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE TOUGHEST ASPECT OF YOUR JOB?
“Being on top of everything. I’m a control freak but keeping control of everything is one of the toughest things. Also making sure everyone listens to me, that’s the tough part!”
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
“The best part, I like the adrenaline rush of the event. I’m addicted to it, like we all are.”
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THE BEST MOMENT HAS BEEN SO FAR?
“Last year in Abu Dhabi. I realised I’d survived the first season! The first year was really a challenge for me. Switching jobs – I always say they’re the same job but the dynamics are different so it took me a few weekends to know what I should really do. Plus, I started just before the first weekend in Bahrain. I started not even two weeks prior, so I didn’t have the time to prepare mentally for it.”
WHAT’S THE FUNNIEST MOMENT IN THE JOB SO FAR?
“I have a lot of funny stories. The drivers are like my babies! I’m a bit tough at the beginning but when they start realising how I am, they have a lot of fun. Some of them ask for advice with the girls.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO GO INTO THE SAME ROLE?
“You have to keep in mind that you don’t have to be offended. In Italy, we say you have to let things go through you because, especially in my case, my adrenaline rush is on Thursday while the team’s rush is on Sunday. Sometimes when you’re in that adrenaline rush, you say things you don’t mean, so you need to let things go through you, be able to breath. Everyone in the paddock is rushing towards a goal, and we all have the same goal, so you need to be very zen.”