Bianchi takes Razia’s place at Marussia for 2013

2013 F1 season

Jules Bianchi, Force India, Jerez, 2013Jules Bianchi will race for Marussia this year, the team has announced.

The French driver, who missed out on taking the second Force India seat yesterday, will replace Luiz Razia at the team.

Team principal John Booth confirmed Razia’s contract with the team has been “terminated” just 23 days after it was announced he would drive for them.

“We have found ourselves in a situation where we have had to terminate our contract with Luiz Razia.” said Booth.

“Having made clear the basis on which we must operate in 2013, and given the steps we had taken to put that new structure in place, we had no alternative but to remain true to the principles which we had identified as being key to securing our long-term future.”

Bianchi said: “Racing in Formula One this season has been my goal over the winter and after evaluating a number of options I am very excited to have this opportunity to demonstrate that I am ready for this next step in my racing career.

“I am also very grateful to the Ferrari Driver Academy that has always supported me and has given me the possibility to mature as a racing driver enabling me to be fully prepared for this new exciting challenge.

“The next two weeks of preparation for the season will be incredibly busy but I am ready to get started tomorrow with my first day in the MR02.”

Booth added: “Jules is a proven talent who is highly regarded within the Paddock. He has been on a clear trajectory towards Formula 1 and has achieved some impressive performances through the various feeder formulae, notably his 2012 season in Formula Renault 3.5 when he was also Reserve Driver for Force India.

“He is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and his obvious pedigree put him on the radar for a number of teams over the winter as a driver ready to step up to Formula One.”

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131 comments on Bianchi takes Razia’s place at Marussia for 2013

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  1. JPedroCQF1 (@joao-pedro-cq) said on 1st March 2013, 18:11

    That’s it for Razia then. Shortest Formula One career I’ve ever seen. Hope Bianchi does good this season, but I’m sure he will struggle in the beggining with so few kilometres done on the Marussia.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2013, 18:14

      Bianchi did get a day or 2 in the Force India though, so he is still a lot better prepared than Razia would have been, not to mention the FP1 sessions last year, and the fact that there are now 2 days where he can have the car left.

  2. Dion (@infinitygc) said on 1st March 2013, 18:12

    Well, at least Bianchi is reasonably quick…

    • sato113 (@sato113) said on 1st March 2013, 18:32

      @infinitygc quicker than Razia? how do their records compare?

      • Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 1st March 2013, 18:46

        From Autosport mag:

        All-out one-lap pace is a Bianchi strength, to the point that his chief F3 engineer, who also worked with Sebastian Vettel, believed Bianchi was faster.

        So you get an idea.

      • Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 1st March 2013, 18:48

        Given that the marussia is at least 4 seconds slower than the next slowest car, i am surprised Bianchi didn’t chose to remain a test driver for at least one more year and try for a faster team next season. He is a talented driver and his record in the lower categories is very good. this could end up being a bad career move for Bianchi. i hope it isn’t.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st March 2013, 18:52

          @aimalkhan

          Marussia is at least 4 seconds slower than the next slowest car

          It’s not easy reading into testing times but I think that one is well wide of the mark. They look pretty much on Caterham’s pace and maybe 1-2s off the midfield.

          • Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 1st March 2013, 19:01

            My bad…When i said next slowest car i meant the cars in the midfield. But what’s your opinion keith ? do you think he should have waited for a faster team next year or this is a good opportunity to try and get noticed by the bigger teams for next season ?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2013, 19:36

            If I may @aimalkhan, I would say its never good to wait, always better to grab your chance if it comes along in F1

      • Dion (@infinitygc) said on 1st March 2013, 19:10

        What I meant was that he is probably one of the quicker people they could’ve gotten in that seat (and not for instance Yamamoto or Karthikeyan).

        • DD42 said on 1st March 2013, 19:54

          I’d definitely take the seat rather than sitting in the pitwall, waiting and hoping.

          If your talented enough, it will show through a crap car. You’d need to beat your teammate (as always) demonstrate excellent awareness and not cause a crash. You’d also want to show your speed by driving consistantly on a limit people didn’t realise was possible.

          If Bianchi can show those skills and learns quickly how to set up the car well, he’d have a better chance at getting a seat with a good team than if he doesn’t race. He’ll also have a years experience of F1

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2013, 18:12

    Having made clear the basis on which we must operate in 2013, and given the steps we had taken to put that new structure in place, we had no alternative but to remain true to the principles which we had identified as being key to securing our long-term future.”

    very nice way of talking around that key principle = money to keep the team afloat!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st March 2013, 18:44

      @bascb It echoes the language they used when they let Glock go:

      “The ongoing challenges facing the industry mean that we have had to take steps to secure our long-term future. Tough economic conditions prevail and the commercial landscape is difficult for everyone, Formula 1 teams included.

      Bottom line, this is another driver change that’s all about money.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 1st March 2013, 18:58

        Everybody is suffering except CVC/Bernie.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd March 2013, 6:49

          @hohum – The problem with this comment is that it implies Marussia had to let Razia go for the same reasons that they let Glock go: namely, that they were in such a poor state financially, that they could no longer afford to keep him.

          However, this is certainly untrue. Although Marussia let go of both Glock and Razia, and although money was the primary factor in the decision, it is misleading to generalise the problem the way you have. Glock was let go because the team could not afford to keep him. Razia was let go because his sponsors would not or could not pay the amount that they had agreed to. These are two issues that are worlds apart, and what’s more, I daresay you were perfectly aware of it when you misrepresented it.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 2nd March 2013, 14:13

          @prisoner-monkeys, I disagree, in an era when F1 is “standardising” so many parts of the car because development is to expensive, an era when competent drivers are being let go because they cant raise enough sponsorship, an era when tracks like the Nurburgring can no longer afford to host F1, I say everybody in F1 is suffering, except CVC who are taking about $500+million a year out of the sport and are valuing their investment at about 5 times what they paid Bernie for it.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd March 2013, 22:58

            @hohum – Except, once again, that’s not what happened. Razia was not let go because he could not raise enough sponsorship. He was let go because although he had raised enough sponsorship, those sponors failed to pay the agreed-upon amount at the agreed-upon time.

            As for the Nurburgring, its problems come from systemic mismanagement. The circuit owners decided to build an expensive roller-coaster within the circuit bounds, in the hopes that it would attract more spectators and make all of their races even more profitable. Except that it’s a total white elephant, and proved to be so expensive that it sent them spiralling towards bankruptcy.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd March 2013, 7:16

            @prisoner-monkeys, when you say Razias sponsors failing to pay, how is that not a sign that the money was not there? I agree with you that the specific case of the NĂĽrburgring is more about mismanagement that ran into trouble than about the lack of money per-se.
            But in no way do you succeed in countering what @hohum wrote about CVC being the only one making a (un-)healthy profit from F1 and everyone else struggling. When New Jersey did not get their stuff together for 2013 and it was likely the German GP would not be on the calendar, many wanted an alternative. None came up with enough money to get the spot. Not even Red Bull sponsored Austria Ring. And only a couple of months before we were unsure about Spa making it. Malaysia is rethinking their deal, both Spanish races are in trouble so much that its likely we will never see a race in Valencia again, and to get back to Germany, the Hockenheim ring is better managed than the NĂĽrburgring, but they could still not afford taking over and do the race each year, because they lack the money to dump into that each year. And on top of that, all but the top 4 teams are struggling to make ends meet.
            All of this shows that the sport IS in trouble, money is staying in the sport enough and that is not good for F1

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd March 2013, 7:47

            @bascb

            when you say Razias sponsors failing to pay, how is that not a sign that the money was not there?

            Because Razia’s sponsors promised that money to begin with, but didn’t pay it. Glock, on the other hand, didn’t have any sponsors (or didn’t have enough sponsors).

            There is a scenario here where Razia’s sponsors deliberately chose not to pay so as to let the contract lapse. If this is what transpored, itt wouldn’t be the first time it happened.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd March 2013, 7:59

            @prisoner-monkeys – i really hate it when you bring in “supposed that happened” kind of theories and then go on as if they prove your point. That is not fair discussing and you know it isn’t (rules of debate)

            Fact is, that all of that is happening because money is hard to come by and is unlikely to ever to bring a big ROI anytime soon.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd March 2013, 8:49

            @bascb – And I think that generalising by claiming that Razia and Glock were let go for the same reasons is a total misrepresentation of what actually happened. Glock was let go because the team couldn’t afford to keep paying him. Razia was let go because his sponsors – for whatever reason – did not meet their contractual obligation to pay the team. Although money is at the root of both situations, we are talking about two very different branches of the same tree.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd March 2013, 9:18

            Although money is at the root of both situations

            Yes, exactly what I and @hohum were saying then, isn’t it? I am glad we do agree, even if you argue we don’t :-P

            I wasn’t tree climbing there, I was talking about the base of the sport not being in good health.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 3rd March 2013, 14:13

            @prisoner-monkeys,@bascb, I had drivers other than Razia and Glock, KK was foremost in my mind.
            Nurburgring, in my view was not gross mismanagement but an attempt to make some money out of hosting a GP by providing additional facilities to encourage family attendance, unfortunately for them it did not work and the GFC caught up with them, it seems that no circuit can afford F1 without govt. subsidies, Silverstone needed its opposition to go broke before they got a deal that they MAY be able to afford.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2013, 19:39

        yes, its funny to hear Bernie talk about “no teams are in jeopardy” when almost half of the grid has to rely on drivers who bring a budget to be able to field 2 cars for a season of F1.

      • JB (@) said on 1st March 2013, 19:41

        @keithcollantine

        Bottom line, this is another driver change that’s all about money.

        Yeah, but the difference is that when comparing Bianchi to Sutil… Bianchi shows more promise and speed… And for sure, this guy is faster than Glock, Karthikeyan, etc…

        I am very glad this kid got the last seat! Justice has been done!

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd March 2013, 7:14

          @catracho504 when you write

          Bianchi shows more promise and speed…

          I agree with the promise part, after all he does show promise while Sutil is not so much a promise but a relatively quantifiable driver for this team. But how are we to say Bianchi shows more speed when we have no means (yet) to compare them is taking it a step too far. The team did compare them and was not as impressed with Bianchi that they wanted to give him the same chance they gave Hulkenberg.

          And your statement that

          And for sure, this guy is faster than Glock, Karthikeyan, etc…

          is even more far stretched. I doubt he will be faster than Glock even if his basic ability is better, as Glock has a lot of experience to help him be the better driver.
          Comparing to Karthikeyan is probably useless, as the Indian driver did show promise, but that was about 8 years back, so yes, Bianchi is probably a better driver choice than him. But when we compare him with the options FI had, Alguersuari, Kovalainen, Senna, Kobayashi to name a few that might fit in the etc. bit, I struggle to see how its easy for you to say that Bianchi is “for sure” faster.

    • socksolid (@socksolid) said on 3rd March 2013, 4:58

      This season does not look very good for marussia and caterham. Until last season it was still possible to say with an honest face that maybe some day these teams will get their act together and start showing some actual results on the track. But with full pay driver lineups, old cars and no ambition even the last bit of credibility has gone imho. With full pay driver lineups there is just not one single reason to even support them imho because they have just given up everything they wanted to be. A competitive team to be taken seriously. What they are now are just meaningless backmarkers miles off the pace with even no chance to improve.

  4. Christopher (@twiinzspeed) said on 1st March 2013, 18:13

    So does this mean we may see Marussia Ferrari in 2014?

  5. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 1st March 2013, 18:13

    thats a surprise!

  6. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 1st March 2013, 18:16

    Was that the shortest ever F1 career? (so far)

    Just 1 test session and puf! gone !

    Bad Luck Luiz… gets F1 seat because of backing, backing leaves after getting the drive.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 1st March 2013, 19:12

      Razia’s backing hadn’t gone, Marussia just stuck to their guns and said ‘right, it’s not here, now, when we wanted it to be, so he’s out’.

      The last thing they’d probably want is the hot potato that were HRT & Lotus Racing in 2010 when sponsorship came and went.

  7. Beto (@chebeto0) said on 1st March 2013, 18:18

    Can someone explain me what the … is going on here. That was unexpected.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 1st March 2013, 18:28

      @chebeto0 well, people have been talking about this for a couple of days now…

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 1st March 2013, 18:37

      @chebeto0 He can’t afford the bill!

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 1st March 2013, 19:01

        Maybe, but keep in mind that Bianchis manager is the son of the chief of FIA, don’t know about D’Razias.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2013, 19:42

          And then there’s the engine deals in the background. Who knows, maybe this was about more about the 4-3-3 divide of engine supplies and Mercedes keeping a team they work with in FI so Ferrari takes Marussia @hohum, but as you say Bianchi must have the best connected manager in the sport.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd March 2013, 6:58

      @chebeto0

      Can someone explain me what the … is going on here. That was unexpected.

      When Razia joined the team three weeks ago, his sponsors promised to pay an agreed-upon amount of money to the team in exchange for the drive. Rather than paying everything up-front, they agreed to pay it in installments. This is a common tactic that benefits both teams and sponsors, because the teams don’t need all of the money up-front, and the sponsors stand to lose less money if the driver they are supporting under-performs and loses his seat.

      The first payment from Razia’s sponsors was made when he joined the team, and a second one was due to be made last week when testing resumed in Barcelona. However, the sponsors missed the payment – whether it was because they simply didn’t have the money, or didn’t want to pay it, or for some other reason remains unknown – and since Razia’s presence in the team hinged on his ability to produce the money that was promised when it was promised and to the amount that was promised, the team could not longer justify keeping him around. They are believed to have given Razia’s sponsors some extra time to produce the money, but when it never came, they sought other options and settled on Bianchi.

  8. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 1st March 2013, 18:19

    VD Garde just hung himself.

  9. Necrotizer said on 1st March 2013, 18:22

    Looks like Marussia will have Ferrari engines for the 2014 switch.

  10. PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 1st March 2013, 18:25

    Has any Formula 1 driver ever had a shorter career?

  11. Alfie (@alfie) said on 1st March 2013, 18:28

    Keith, you’re supposed to put these things out on the 1st of April, not the 1st of March.

  12. OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 1st March 2013, 18:30

    Really got to feel sorry for Razia right now, his dream was fulfilled, he was going to be an F1 driver and then it just……. wasn’t to be.

  13. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 1st March 2013, 18:31

    I’m in no way a fan of Bianchi but I will wait and see how he goes on.

  14. Rigi (@rigi) said on 1st March 2013, 18:32

    so he got a seat after all, good!

  15. R.J. said on 1st March 2013, 18:34

    Bold prediction: I think Bianchi scores a point this year. It may take a battle of atrition, but he’s proven to be as good as any young talent I’ve seen based on his junior formula results and F1 tests/FP1 times.

    Chilton could even squeak in a point, for all we know – better qualifier than most people realize if GP2 is anything to go by.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 1st March 2013, 19:06

      I think that even Vettel wouldn’t be able to score a point in that car on merit but I wish Marussia all the best and, with some luck, it can happen.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st March 2013, 19:24

      @girts – yes they do appear to still be one or two seconds off the back of the midfield, so for either Caterham or Marussia to score a point this year seems a little far-fetched, unless there are very adverse circumstances.

      If anybody is to do it from the 4 drivers in the “new” teams though, I think Bianchi is the man. He has shown the most promise in the junior categories out of them and seems to be very quick, so I am very happy with Marussia’s decision (let’s just hope he lasts more than one tests session)!

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd March 2013, 7:04

        for either Caterham or Marussia to score a point this year seems a little far-fetched, unless there are very adverse circumstances

        They picked up some 11th and 12th places last year. Vitaly Petrov might have even snared a point in Valencia were it not for Daniel Ricciardo colliding with him late in the race.

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