The Key

Driver Change

Photo credit: Pirelli, Kessel

Behind the wheel of a Formula 1 Brabham in the 1970s, then with his Apollon team and a long career in closed wheel cars, Loris Kessel, a Swiss Italian from Lugano, was loved by everyone for his kind manners and prodigious skill. In addition to being a celebrated racing driver, he was also a Ferrari dealer, a fantastic business opportunity in a rich market such as Ticino. His young son Ronnie, who bears the name of his father’s unfortunate friend, Ronnie Peterson, loved being in his father’s company when he wasn’t studying, in amongst the cars and the drivers. A passion that suddenly became an advantage for him when his father confessed that he had an incurable disease and only a few months left to live. As he recalls in The Key 2020, the very young Ronnie absorbed all his father’s teachings with constancy and commitment and, a few months later, upon his death, at the age of just 22, he took over the reins of the Company with surprising confidence. Today Ronnie, who also manages the classic car business as well as the racing team, is one of the world’s most respected Ferrari dealers and has turned his passion and enthusiasm into an authentic recipe for success.

A very young Ronnie Kessel with his father Loris, at Mugello before the news of his father’s incurable illness
Loris Kessel in the Brabham BT44 at the 1976 French Grand Prix
Ronnie Kessel now divides his time between the race circuits and his dealerships in Lugano, Zug and St. Moritz
The Kessel workshop for classic models
Valentino Rossi with the Team Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 painted in his yellow and blue colours and with the number 46. The famous motorcycling champion won his class and finished 3 overall at the Gulf 12 Hours on the Yas Marina circuit