Oh Marussia! Jules Bianchi will race for Marussia this season after Luiz Razia’s contract was terminated.
This comes just a day after Bianchi lost a potential Force India seat to Adrian Sutil. Whilst the news has been announced by Marussia, he is not thought to have signed an official contract at this stage.
The Frenchman, who is one of Ferrari’s latest young prodigies, will make his début in a matter weeks in Australia for the start of the season.
Marussia have also confirmed they now have just four hours to fit Bianchi with a new seat as he will fire up the engine for the first time at the final round of pre season testing in Barcelona.
The big question is why Bianchi? Reports had been suggesting that Razia’s sponsors (who had promised in excess of £10 million) were not sticking to their word. After replacing Timo Glock, much to the dismay and anger of many, it was obvious that Marussia’s financial matters were not as hoped.He does bring some funding, just not as much as many.
He also has valuable connections to Ferrari which could give him and the team leverage this season as sporting politics remains ever dominant.
They are willing to take a risk on young rookies, they’ve shown that already. Hiring Bianchi suggests that they see a future, not necessarily dominated by the highest paid driver, but rather by a combination of both funding and talent. If he can prove himself, his connections to Ferrari could mean a seat higher placed could be on the cards.
Other drivers linked to the seat include Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov, however these were quickly dismissed by their respective managements.
I have at times defended pay drivers, accepting that quite simply the two go hand in hand in this elitist sport. Saying that, I can’t help but feel for Razia – Formula 1’s nearly man. Better luck next time Luiz!
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