March 1, 2013
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In a surprise move, it has been announced that Luiz Razia has already been dropped by the Marussia team for the 2013 season, despite not having even turned a wheel in the new car.
It appears as if one of Razia’s sponsors failed to come through on a payment to the Marussia team, and after over a week of hushed rumours around the paddock, Luiz has been ousted before the season has even begun. The young Brazilian had completed 23 days on his contract before today.
He has been replaced by Jules Bianchi, who only yesterday had lost out to Adrian Sutil on the Force India second driver seat. Bianchi comes with Ferrari backing, meaning that Marussia are in a good position to receive Ferrari engines for the 2014 season, if Cosworth do not renew their contract.
Despite the shock move, Razia was adamant that he deserved his spot in the team, and valiantly vowed to fight his way back into F1:
"I'm in a kind of shock, because you expect to be in F1, you are there, announced,
testing, and then you are out - and not because of a driver fault. I did everything
right in what I could do, but it was really just a circumstantial thing that happened,
and that was it.
But I still am here. My career is still shining and I can overcome this difficult
situation. It is just something that has happened to me. Sometimes life does this
My main goal is to be in F1, so all my effort is there. I am now without any grounds,
but I will go with my family, and we will be sad for a while, but I will get back to
February 6, 2013
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Marussia will have an all-rookie line-up this season, with Luiz Razia confirmed as the team’s second driver.
He joins Max Chilton, who won two races in GP2 last season, and the duo have replaced Charles Pic and Timo Glock within the squad.
Razia has previously won the 2006 South American Formula 3 championship, and finished 2nd in the 2012 GP2 series with 4 race wins. In 2011 he drove for both Force India and Toro Rosso in the young driver tests, and tested in free practice sessions for the Caterham team.
The last team to run an all-rookie line-up was the 2010 HRT team, whose drivers didn’t all make it to the end of the season.
November 16, 2011
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Vergne finished day 2 on top again
Jean-Eric Vergne again headed the timesheets for the young driver test in Abu Dhabi.
A time of 1:40.188 in the morning was enough to secure the Frenchman top spot, despite sensor and KERS issues in the afternoon.
Ferrari test driver Jules Bianchi was again 2nd, but this time was only 0.091 seconds behind the Red Bull. Gary Paffett drove the McLaren for the entire day, and was 3rd, albeit 1.5 seconds slower than Vergne. He caused the only red flag of the day, when his McLaren spilled oil on the track.
Valterri Bottas was 4th for Williams, ahead of newest F1 debutant Johnny Cecotto Junior, driving for Force India. Sauber reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez was 6th.
Sam Bird was 7th for Mercedes, ahead of newcomer Kevin Korjus, driving for Renault. Luiz Razia was 9th for Lotus, with Kevin Ceccon 10th for Toro Rosso.
HRT split their running between Jan Charouz and Nathanael Berthon, who finished 11th and 13th respectively – Berthon only driving for the final half hour. Virgin shoe-in Charles Pic was 12th.
Times from day 2:
1. Jean-Eric Vergne Red Bull-Renault 1:40.188
2. Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1:40.279 0.091
3. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1:41.756 1.568
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Cosworth 1:42.367 2.179
5. Johnny Cecotto Jr Force India-Mercedes 1:42.873 2.685
6. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:43.637 3.449
7. Sam Bird Mercedes GP 1:43.734 3.546
8. Kevin Korjus Renault 1:43.776 3.588
9. Luiz Razia Lotus-Renault 1:43.944 3.756
10. Kevin Ceccon Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:44.808 4.620
11. Jan Charouz HRT-Cosworth 1:46.644 6.456
12. Charles Pic Virgin-Cosworth 1:46.698 6.510
13. Nathanael Berthon HRT-Cosworth 1:48.646 8.458