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

  1. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 1st March 2013, 18:34

    I cannot recall a sillier season than this, a direct result of teams feeling the financial squeeze more than ever, I suppose.

    I’m happy for Bianchi to get his chance after all, although a drive at Force India, who were scoring points and challenging for podiums occasionally last year, cannot be compared to driving for a team that is solidly at the back of the grid, together with (possibly just in front of) Caterham.

    Terrible luck for Razia, though, and what were his sponsors thinking? Why did they bother to support him if they were not going to come up with the money?

    At the risk of sounding terribly naive, why couldn’t Marussia confirm, even after dropping Razia, that they were waiting for his sponsors’ money? Why all the secrecy?

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 1st March 2013, 18:43

      what were his sponsors thinking? Why did they bother to support him if they were not going to come up with the money?

      Maybe because they found out Marussia’s dirty secret? :)

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 1st March 2013, 18:44

      @adrianmorse devastating for Razia. he must be mentally & emotionally shattered right now.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st March 2013, 20:19

      I don’t think saying that Marussia dropped Razia for money reasons, as if they couldn’t afford to keep him in the same way that they couldn’t afford to keep Glock, is a fair representation of events. Razia appears to have been dropped because his sponsors couldn’t or wouldn’t pay up as promised, which is a far cry from being unable to afford his salary, as was the case with Glock.

  2. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 1st March 2013, 18:35

    On a side not: 5 Rookie drivers in 2013!

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st March 2013, 19:28

      @force-maikel – only problem is that out of the 5, Bianchi, Bottas and at stretch Gutierrez are the only ones that can really justify their place in F1. Van Der Garde and Chilton have been fairly remarkable, and I would much rather see Frijns or someone in a seat.

      • Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 1st March 2013, 19:43

        @Max-Jacobson Totally agree on Frijns. Sure he still needs to learn a lot but he’s one of those drivers that needs to be thrown in front of the lions straight away, like they did with Kimi.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st March 2013, 20:16

          @force-maikel – agreed, I think he’s be more than capable to of being on the pace immediately (or within a couple of races at most). Sadly, money is talking louder than talent at the moment in general. :(

          • wsrgo said on 2nd March 2013, 5:13

            @vettel1 Well he’s close to landing the Trident sest. If he can get a few podiums and a top-10 finish, it will really be remarkable, considering how poor the team did last year with Leal and Richelmi.

      • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 1st March 2013, 19:57

        Van Der Garde and Chilton have been fairly remarkable, and I would much rather see Frijns or someone in a seat

        @vettel1 – what are you trying to say? That VDG and Chilton have been remarkable, or UNremarkable? “Fairly remarkable” = pretty darn good! which would seem to imply they deserve their seats in your view…

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st March 2013, 20:27

          @joepa – Ah, I intended to say unremarkable! I think you get the point on my opinion of them from the surrounding text though! ;)

          • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 1st March 2013, 21:31

            Thanks for clarifying, still!

          • wsrgo said on 2nd March 2013, 5:19

            @vettel1 I don’t think you can compare VDG with Chilton. The former was very consistent in both World Series by Renault, as well as GP2. Chilton, on the other hand, had been utterly useless before 2012. His appointment brings to mind the following quote:
            One swallow does not make a summer

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 2nd March 2013, 12:30

          wsrgo Van Der Garde is more consistent absolutely, but he has driven in GP2 for 4 seasons and done nothing remarkable. I am not entirely familiar with the pecking order in GP2 though, but I know enough to realise that the team you are driving for is nowhere near as important as in F1.

  3. Slr (@slr) said on 1st March 2013, 18:39

    Even if Razia is a pay driver, it is quite sad that his dream of racing in Formula One is over before it began.

    • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 1st March 2013, 18:45

      I agree w/ you 100%. As a former pro sportsman myself, I can empathize with the utter devastation & discombobulation Razia must be feeling, not to mention the despair. Sheesh. What a disappointment for him, and what a cruel, cruel world is sport!

    • photozen (@photozen) said on 1st March 2013, 19:04

      I feel bad for him too and it is hard to believe that his sponsors let him down like that.

      • Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 1st March 2013, 19:59

        it is hard to believe that his sponsors let him down like that

        @photozen – yeah it’s horrible to be so irresponsible with someone’s professional hopes and dreams. I hope that we the public can know the full, fair and unbiased story soon.

    • codesurge (@codesurge) said on 1st March 2013, 20:46

      Wonder what options he has right now, given how little time there is before the season starts. Third driver for another team? Return to a lower category?

  4. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 1st March 2013, 18:44

    whoa. ***?!

  5. jhr9988 (@rhj8899) said on 1st March 2013, 18:49

    Ferrari engine for Marrusia in 2014 then….?

  6. reprep (@reprep) said on 1st March 2013, 18:51

    This is a win-win situation for Marussia and for Jules Bianchi, he maybe lost his seat to Sutil who did deserve a second chance but as far I can see I think this puts the pressure of of Jules because he can learn about being a Formula 1 driver at Marussia without having to score points on a regular basis, there are only two thing he needs to do and that is learn about the racing in the Formula 1 with competitors who have the same amount of talent he has got and outperform Max Chilton which I think he could do.

  7. reprep (@reprep) said on 1st March 2013, 18:52

    This is a win-win situation for Marussia and for Jules Bianchi, he maybe lost his seat to Sutil who did deserve a second chance but as far I can see I think this puts the pressure of Jules because he can learn about being a Formula 1 driver at Marussia without having to score points on a regular basis, there are only two things he needs to do and that is learn about the racing in the Formula 1 with competitors who have the same amount of talent he has got and outperform Max Chilton which I think he could do.

  8. photozen (@photozen) said on 1st March 2013, 19:03

    Marussia will probably gain a lot of experience from Bianchi in regards to car setup, etc after his time with Force India, which is one thing Marussia was missing with the original lineup of drivers. Granted the Marussia will be much different but Bianchi will be better able to help the team a lot to improve.

    • Metallion (@metallion) said on 1st March 2013, 19:40

      I don’t know how Marussia was missing experience regarding set up work with their former lineup. Glock had many years of experience, I doubt Bianchi, a rookie, can bring any improvement setup wise compared to Glock.

  9. AbeyG (@1abe) said on 1st March 2013, 19:21

    This is interesting! What would make it more interesting is if Razia gets the third driver role in Force India!

    • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 1st March 2013, 20:23

      Good call – he’s tested for them before hasn’t he, there can’t be many decent GP2 or Renault 3.5 drives left for him, and Force India have rewarded their reserve drivers well in the past, with practice drives and eventual race seats. He’d be more likely than some 3rd drivers to get a race…there must still be a few question marks over Sutil’s performance, and his ability to attend all the GPs.

  10. Ryan Williams (@ryanwilliams) said on 1st March 2013, 20:11

    Absolutely gutted for Razia. Thought he drove superbly in GP2 last year and deserved the seat at Marussia. Pleased it’s Bianchi replacing him after being horrendously overlooked by Force India earlier this week. I really hope that Luiz can recover from this and hopefully we’ll see him on the grid in 2014, once Bianchi has joined Force India

  11. schooner (@schooner) said on 1st March 2013, 20:23

    Will he be regarded as the 1st driver to lose his seat in 2013, or would he have needed to start the race in Australia to earn that distinction?

  12. Denis 68 said on 2nd March 2013, 1:07

    Feel terrible for Razia but sadly that’s what Formual One has become.

    Would love to know how much dosh Ferarri have paid to buy Bianchi the seat.

  13. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher) said on 2nd March 2013, 1:45

    I had had respect for certain teams taking a hard line on driver decisions based on financial reasoning, where they couldn’t avoid hiring less talented drivers in favour of sponsorship to survive.
    But now I am finally fed up. To announce a driver, and suddenly drop him before the season even starts! It just sickens me.

  14. LifeW12 (@lifew12) said on 2nd March 2013, 1:56

    Sadly talent is worthless these days :(

  15. Minardi (@gitanes) said on 2nd March 2013, 1:59

    In the long run, this is better for Chilton too. He will have the legs-up off the bat due to more time in the car and will be rated higher than if he beat Razia. Better line-up than Caterham now actually.

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