Martinelli studied Mechanical Engineering at Bologna University, graduating in 1978. He joined Ferrari immediately, at first working on engine design for the company's production cars. In 1994 he was appointed head of the Formula One team's Engine Department, where he took the decision to ditch the commitment to running V12 engines in favour of V10s. The first V10-powered Ferrari raced in 1996, and the team used this configuration to win five Drivers' and six Constructors' Championships before rules were brought in stipulating the use of V8s for 2006.
- Grandprix.com biography, retrieved October 27, 2006.