When Timo Glock left Marussia F1, we all felt a twinge of sadness and anger at the sport for letting down a driver who had given so much. Four stoic and patient years later, Glock found himself ousted from Formula 1 in favour of a bright young (and much cheaper) talent – Luiz Razia.
Unveiled shortly after his car in sunny Jerez, Spain, this news confirms the sport’s worst kept secret; his name was attached to the team from the very moment Glock departed. Of his pending move, Marussia spoke of their “excitement” – the young driver line up signals a new era for the team.
This announcement will see the Brazilian graduate from GP2 to a full time F1 drive. Previously a test driver at then-named Virgin Racing and their fierce rivals Caterham, Razia does have some experience at this level, the racing pinnacle.
Many may say that his latest driver status is a consequence of his lucrative sponsorship deals. Indeed the 23-year-old does bring funding from his native Brazil (unlike his predecessor) but his performances in 2012 may prove enough to warrant his new found drive.
As a GP2 runner up, he joins a seemingly endless list of drivers to graduate the series for the bright lights of F1. Max Chilton, Giedo Van Der Garde and Esteban Gutierrez all join him as rookies from the series this year alone. Only Williams’ latest recruit the ‘Flying Finn’ Valterri Bottas has emerged from elsewhere.
Is he the right the choice for a team who have such enormous pressure on their shoulders? Well, I’ll leave that up for you to decide. Two rookies in one team is an interesting choice and certainly different to their past strategies. Timo Glock was previously the epi centre of the team, the driver upon whom the team based all their ideas. However they are also a team that must take this risk. Wins and podiums are unattainable at this time so instead, it seems as if Marussia are making an investment in Razia and his potential. Of course, the cynic in me can’t help but remind of you his stash of gold and its bearing on this decision.
Marussia have now changed their driver line up five times in four years. Some stability may help them and a young partnership with the money of Chilton and Razia seems apt.
Formula 1 fans will have a heavy heart when Razia takes to the grid for the first time in Australia as they mourn the loss of Timo Glock to DTM. However sometimes the sport does have to move on; with six rookies on the grid opposing five world champions I feel I can safely say that the sport’s future is in good hands.
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