Gonzalez to get practice sessions runs with Marussia

2013 F1 season

Rodolfo GonzalezMarussia have signed Rodolfo Gonzalez as their reserve driver for 2013.

Team principal John Booth said Gonzalez: “has all the right experience to be able to fulfil the role of reserve driver in the event that he is required to step into a seat”.

“To further prepare him we look forward to seeing him take part in a number of FP1 sessions throughout the season, when we will also have the opportunity to evaluate his performances for the future,” he added.

Gonzalez will also drive for the team at this year’s Young Driver Test. The 26-year-old Venezuelan tested for Force India and Caterham last year, and also drove for the latter during 2010 when it was Lotus.

“I am looking forward to being part of the team, starting this weekend in Melbourne, and I would like to thank the team for their trust in me and this fantastic opportunity,” said Gonzalez.

“Although it is a big moment for my career, the people of Venezuela are going through a sad time at present due to the death of President [Hugo] Chavez, so I hope this news lifts their spirits a little. For me, I am disappointed that I was not able to share the news with him personally.”

Gonzalez spent the last three years racing in GP2, scoring a best finish of fourth at Spa-Francorchamps in 2010.

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27 comments on Gonzalez to get practice sessions runs with Marussia

  1. Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 14th March 2013, 5:14

    Worthy replacement of Sakon Yamamoto in this role. But to think such bad drivers can participate in FP1 sessions or Young Drivers Test… Well, I guess there is a lot of bills to pay for Marussia.

  2. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 14th March 2013, 5:53

    Another income stream for Marussia, so I guess we should have seen it coming. Too bad the role has to be filled with such an uninspiring (to put it mildly) driver.

  3. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 14th March 2013, 6:13


    This is ridiculous. How on earth did this guy even manage to get to GP2? In Formula 3, his best result was a 6th place. In GP2, he’s had a mere 3 point scoring finishes over his four years there.

    The fact that he actually has a test drive seat in F1 is delusional.

  4. andae23 (@andae23) said on 14th March 2013, 6:17

    Marussia = pay driver nursery

    • Aditya (@adityafakhri) said on 14th March 2013, 6:47

      for a lot of potential pay/sponsored driver, why does it have to be Rodolfo?
      Felipe Nasr, Tom Dilmann, Rio Haryanto, there are a lot of guys for doing that!

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th March 2013, 7:19

        We can only hope that had they landed the money from Razia, they would have chosen someone with more racing skills than a wallet.

        • Salcrich said on 14th March 2013, 8:36

          “For me, I am disappointed that I was not able to share the news with him personally.”

          Venezuela establishment??

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 14th March 2013, 9:14

            Maldonado, Gonzalez, Serenelli, Gomez etc. are all sponsored by PDVSA, which is the state oil company. That made Chavez their main sponsor/investor.

          • Richard dew said on 14th March 2013, 9:35

            @andae23 thanks – but presumably Chavez didn’t just sponsor them because they were Venezuelan – Gonzalez hardly came to his attention because of his driving record!

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 14th March 2013, 14:19

      It’s hardly likely to be their fault. Teams like Marussia need this. Blame the sport’s business model, not the teams that are struggling so hard simply to be there.

  5. mrgrieves (@mrgrieves) said on 14th March 2013, 8:17

    In last years GP2 i would confidently say there were only 2 drivers who were worse than him on the grid. Ricardo Teixeira and Giancarlo Serenelli. He might only be a reserve driver but this is a step too far on the pay driver era and a step closer to Lavaggi and Taki Inoue style drivers coming back.

    All the new drivers reaching F1 this season all of which i can understand and give a good chance too, Might have preferred to have seen Glock and Kobiyshi but still these replacement are certainly in the top 10 of young drivers.

    Gonzalez has been awful for 4 season in GP2! His only points last season was when 14 other drivers retired from a sprint race. A joke of a choice but money talks over talent here i guess

  6. davros said on 14th March 2013, 8:37

    Everybody’s knocking him, but what if he gets a chance in a race seat and turns out to be the next Schumacher?

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 14th March 2013, 8:49

      Ralf Schumacher? Mike Schumacher? Stefan Schumacher? Which one are you talking about here?

      Joking aside, his record in F3 and four years in GP2 show that he should be anywhere on this planet but F1.

      • BenH (@benh) said on 14th March 2013, 10:39

        No, its Schumachers new horse that Corinna has bought him.

        If he turns out to be really bad, they can always sell him in Tesco

  7. Quick Nick (@tasvat001) said on 14th March 2013, 8:41

    “Gonzalez spent the last three years racing in GP2, scoring a best finish of fourth at Spa-Francorchamps in 2010.” What an absolute joke for this guy to be taking part in an f1 weekend.Shouldn’t there be some kind of performance based rule for drivers to be allowed to participate in an f1 weekend,for example must have won x number of GP2 races or appeared on the podium x amount of times to prevent any Tom,Dick or Rodolpho with a big fat wallet driving on a f1 weekend.

    • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 14th March 2013, 10:16

      There is such a performance based rule. In theory.

      The regulations to get an FIA Super Licence require either:
      a) that the driver had 5 starts in F1 last year, or 15 starts in the last 3 years
      b) have previously had a Super Licence and been an F1 team’s test driver last year
      c) finish in the first 3 of the international F2 or F3 championships, GP2 or GP2 Asia, or Formula Nippon in the last 2 years
      d) finish in the first 4 of the Indycar championship in the last 2 years
      e) Be the reigning champion of the F3 Euroseries, the British, Italian, Japanese or Spanish F3 championships, or Formula Renault 3.5 or
      f) be judged by the FIA to have consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars, but with no opportunity to qualify under any of c) to e) above. In this case the F1 team concerned must show that the applicant has driven at least 300 km in a current Formula One car consistently at racing speeds, over a maximum period of 2 days, completed not more than 90 days prior to the application and certified by the motorsport body of the country in which the test took place.

      Clearly Gonzalez does not qualify under any of these grounds. As far as I’m aware there’s an exception allowable if all the team principals agree, but I couldn’t find it anywhere in the regulations. If it is still there, it really needs to be taken out because it’s being exploited too much at the moment.

  8. Tango (@tango) said on 14th March 2013, 9:43

    Somebody had to pay for Jules Bianchi I guess.

  9. Adam Blocker (@blockwall2) said on 14th March 2013, 10:47


  10. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 14th March 2013, 12:06

    haha This is terrible.

    I used to joke with my friends whenever we heard Buxton say “oh, and there’s been an accident..!”, and just go “ha, Gonzalez”.

    Not much of a joke though when 9/10 times, you’re right!

  11. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 14th March 2013, 14:23

    What I’ve never really understood is, why do companies choose to sponsor these apparently unspectacular drivers? I know nationality often has everything to do with it. But why is it that (and I may be misinformed here) that promising drivers like Robin Frijns, or at least charismatic drivers like Kobayashi don’t have any companies that want to back them? At the end of the day, they’re going to be the drivers that give you the most exposure.

    • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 14th March 2013, 20:22

      I’ll try to answer as I live in a similar enviroment :). In a countries like this it’sall down to connections. If someone is having intrest (mafia) from another guy, the best thing for money laundry is sponsorship. In that it doesn’t matter who will get the sponsorship as long as the deal is done. I’m not saying that this is the case here…I’m just saying :)

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