2013 F1 season
Jules 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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Image © Force India