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Alexander Rossi to replace Max Chilton at Spa
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Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  21 Aug 2014   |  3:55 pm GMT  |  122 comments

Former Caterham reserve driver Alexander Rossi will make his race debut for Marussia at Spa this weekend after the Banbury-based team announced that the Amercian racer will replace Max Chilton for this grand prix, with the Briton being sidelined due to “contractual issues”.

Team Principal John Booth said: “Although it was not our intention to offer Alexander the possibility to race this season, in light of the circumstances we are pleased to be providing him with the opportunity to make his Grand Prix debut at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Franchorchamps. “Naturally we hope to resume normal service with respect to our established race driver line-up as soon as possible,” he added. “But for now we wish Alexander well for the weekend ahead and we look forward to seeing him in action.”

Rossi, who joined Marussia as reserve driver last month, added: “It goes without saying that I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to race in Formula 1 for the first time and I cannot thank the Marussia F1 Team enough for the faith they are demonstrating in me.

“It’s a very big moment for me and there’s a lot to prepare in a short space of time, but on the other hand I have felt ready for this for quite a while now,” he said. “It is also exciting to be given this opportunity at such a fantastic and historical circuit as Spa-Francorchamps. I can’t wait to drive the MR03 from tomorrow and I hope to reward the team with a solid race weekend.”

A statement from Chilton’s camp added: “Max Chilton has volunteered to step out of his race seat for this weekend’s race in Spa, Belgium, to allow the team to attract much needed funds by selling his seat. Max will attend the race and be on hand to support the team in any way possible. Marussia are currently in talks with several new investors and it is expected the situation will be resolved before the next race in the F1 calendar in Monza.”

Rossi is the second driver to take over a race seat this weekend with Andre Lotterer set to replace Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham at Spa.

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122 Comments
  1. darima says:

    Does this mean if he blows max away max won’t again see a race seat?

    1. Jock Ulah says:

      . . . Money is a powerful blowing tool . . .

      1. Pkara says:

        HEADLINE NEWS
        Just heard on BBC practice 1 live
        Max Chilton back in the saddle for Practice 2 & now driving in Quali & Racing again!!!
        Whats Marussia playing at ?
        Talk about bad P.R.
        Alex in car I guess he’s clueless about whats just been anniunced by Marussia.
        Looks lije the American backers have backed off .
        Glad to see Max back who looks like a moody youngster “Kevin & Perry Mode”.

      2. James Allen says:

        I don’t believe that “American backers” are a factor in what happened here..

        It’s more about Chilton’s relations with the team and possibly a bit of Bernie wanting an American driver to show

    2. Random 79 says:

      He can blow away Max all he likes (all Max has to do is smile and pull out his wallet) but he may impress enough to land a seat elsewhere which I assume is the point of this little exercise.

      1. forestial says:

        That would be Max’s dad’s wallet, right?

    3. Random 79 says:

      Although maybe by the sound of it Max’s wallet is a little too light now?

    4. JB says:

      Only if by blow him away you mean in sponsorship dollars?

  2. Andrew says:

    Good, for once that’s an improvement! Unlike poor Kamui.

    1. Random 79 says:

      +1000

      Kobi is the only reason Caterham have been on the radar at all this year (if you leave out all the negative stuff such as their financial troubles, Tony selling them to who knows who, and their god ugly nose), while the other guy (sorry, forgot his name again) has been doing precisely squat.

      Mind you, that’s the kind of decision I’ve come to expect from them.

    2. Pete says:

      completely agree!!! I cannot believe what Caterham did to Kamui :(

      Any boring track, could made some (financial) sense. At legendary Spa with lots of rain, 80% chance of safety car every race, and one of the highest chances of overtaking?? Why not take the risk and let Kamui do his thing?

      BUT Unfortunately GREEN is the right color for Caterham, seeing all they think about is $$$ (green in US)

    3. Ryan says:

      Very poor image for Formula 1. The big boss beats a bribery charge by [mod] his way out of jail, A 16 year old in F1 and now pay drivers are being usurped by bigger paying pay drivers.

      …At least the cars still sound good and its affordable to attend a GP. Right?

      1. Andy K says:

        Fun game inserting funny words where “mod” has been put in that comment!! Try it for yourselves!

      2. Andy K says:

        Here I’ll get it started:
        -[mod]
        -[mod]
        -[mod]
        -[mod]

      3. Random 79 says:

        Lol Andy :)

  3. Sebee says:

    When I hear Rossi, it immediately makes me think “American Driver”, right?

    I know, it’s a silly point. But we’ve talked about names in F1, and Rossi immediately makes me think of?…..Exactly! MotoGP, Italian, etc. Not American F1.

    Branding is important. F1 American driver needs Rahal, Unser, Johnson, Andretti name – something American sounding.

    Hey..don’t bust my lumps over Scott Speed. Name was very good, but something broke down with that effort. I thought F1 had it, but in the end I guess his marketing power wasn’t strong enough for F1.

    1. Sebee says:

      Go ahead…google Rossi, see how many pages you have to push through of MotoGP and football before you get to this Rossi. Poor guy, just happens to have a famous name made famous by others.

      Every time I catch some drag racing and Tony Schumacher pulls up, guess what I’m thinking? Funny thing? Tony is a 7 time champion. :-) Still, in my mind I see Schumi driving that top fuel monster. Maybe I need a brain tuneup to balance my mind share better?

    2. AuraF1 says:

      Andretti? Yeah that sounds more ethnically ‘American’ (whatever the hell THAT is) than Rossi ;)

      1. Sebee says:

        You bet your bacon.
        I hear Andretti, you don’t even finish the “t” sound and I’m already thinking of the great American Motorsport Family legacy.

        You say Rossi, I’m hearing a squeeky cool guy’s voice with Italian accent in my head who is apparently a Doctor of some sort on 2 wheels.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        whenever i hear the name andretti i think of michael andretti, the failed american who drove a few races for maclaren. he was totally outclassed and totally out of his league. he refused to be domiciled in either europe of the UK and as soon as a race was over, [early for him mostly as he rarely, if ever actually finished a race] he would jump on a plane and high tail it back to the land of the great satan.

        seebee, do you still count him as part of the ‘great american racing’ legacy?

      3. James Allen says:

        He had a fantastic career in IndyCars..

      4. Sebee says:

        Yes Kenneth I do. Something went wrong for him in F1. I’m not going to sit here and defend him as it was likely contributed to by lack of dedication. But I’m sure circumstances added to things.

        You say open wheel racing in Anytown, USA and I bet you Andretti name will be tops. Doesn’t F1 want that from an American driver for US fan base.

      5. kenneth chapman says:

        @ james….yes he did have a great career in in indy cars. i don’t think that matter is in dispute. i was referring only to F1 as a valid comparison. not like if we look at mansell’s career in indy cars, which is the very opposite.

        michael andretti in F1 was rubbish. in the good ole US of A he may well be revered but that is peculiarly american. americans very rarely see things from a truly global perspective as they are simply too inward looking and anything happening offshore doesn’t really matter or for that matter, match up.” i say this as a generalisation and am trying to not be too specific in order to avoid a conflict. F1 is a truly global exercise. indy cars are all deep fried turkey legs and budweiser to me although i must admit some of the better road courses are good racing.

        i would love to see both formulas going head to head, just for the thrill of it. now that would be interesting.

    3. DC says:

      Andretti sounds american?

      1. Sebee says:

        Doesn’t matter how it sounds. You hear that name, you think American Motor Sport Legacy.

    4. Dazzler says:

      Does Rahal or Andretti sound American to you ?

      1. Sebee says:

        Yes! You guts seriously didn’t think before you went off.

        What flag was on Mario’s helmet when he raced F1?
        What flag wad on Michael’s?

        Andretti family did all the heavy lifting to beyond any doubt link Andretti name to American motorsport. So did the others. So while there is ethnicity and every name, some are prebranded with certain facts. Rossi name is a motorcycle name linked to a guy who flies the Italian flag proud. This Rossi’s brand has to contend with that. Andretti family is proud of their Italian roots. But there is no doubt where their motorsport colors are.

    5. Random 79 says:

      Wasn’t marketing – with a name like Speed how could he go wrong?

      So far as I know it was simply that he and Tost didn’t get along…at all…

      1. RichB says:

        it was simply because speed was a rubbish driver

      2. Sebee says:

        I think we heard Speed was a bit harsh personality. He should have been more humble.

    6. Andrew Carter says:

      Lol, Andretti is Italian, where do you think Mario was born? And were do you think Keselowski originates from? America is a country of immigrants with a lot of their names being Germanic, Slavic, Irish etc in origin.

      1. Sebee says:

        So anyhow, since he’s the only guy to win races over multiple decades, like 3 or 4, and layed down all that winning under the stars and stripes, do tell me that beside the sound of his name and his ethnicity what is the claim of the Andretti name to Italian Motorsport?

        Every single thing Mario and anyone with the Andretti name have achieved has been under the Amercian colors. Period. Clearly Mario doesn’t turn his back on his heritage, but I’m pretty sure that by his choice of colors he raced under he’s quite clear as to where his opportunties and motorsport carrier came from. You say Andretti – I say American Motorsport Legacy spanning generations and disciplines – all under a flag that features no green.

        Don’t even think it! Andretti Green team was named that due to sponsor! :-)

    7. SwissF1 says:

      American sounding? Like the equally Italian in origin, Andretti? Names are what you make of them and every name in America has its origin from elsewhere within the last few hundred years. I hope Alexander Rossi begins to make a name for himself as an impressive American driver in F1 with a solid debut at Spa this weekend (for a driver in a Marussia) and heal the scars left by Michael Andretti, a name and legacy that Americans would have preferred to give back to the Italians.

      1. Sebee says:

        Hey, can you send me a link to that new Italian Formula E Andretti Team? Oh that’s right…It’s an Amercian flag that team races under.

        Andretti family has made a choice of flag under which they race and to which their name is forever linked in motorsport.

      2. Sebee says:

        Speaking of Formula E…Jr. Back!

        I’m glad too. Poor kid was hung out to dry put in a power vice by Flavio likes of which I don’t think we’ve ever seen a driver placed in.

        I’d like to see Piquet name back in F1. He’s only 29. Has another 5-6 year window. He’s staying motorsport ready, that’s for sure.

      3. kenneth chapman says:

        obviously the US sanctions on putin and his clowns re the ukraine don’t extend to participation in an F1 race. has anyone told barak hussein yet?

    8. RichB says:

      it wasn’t his marketing, it was the fact he was rubbish

    9. Simmo says:

      I would have laughed if he had chosen 46 instead of 42.

    10. David Young says:

      Rahal and Andretti haven’t shown anything that would even give the impression they deserve to be in F1and Johnson just doen’t have the open wheel experience. The hasen’t been an Unser racing in a decade. Newgarden looks like he might have some potential though.

    11. Grant H says:

      Wont be surprised if maurussia pull him out of the hat for the US GP later in the yr!

    12. spokes says:

      OH! We know who Alexander Rossi is in America…

      1. Sebee says:

        You mean the 27 of us? It’s a start!

    13. tank says:

      Seebee, you’re getting a lot of flak for the Andretti link to Italy. To counter the other comments, I think it’s obvious what you mean!

      I agree with your points about the name Rossi and the history of the”brand”. Unfortunate but not irreversible!

      1. Mike P says:

        +1…I’m not so sure why everyone is so confused about what Seebee meant.

      2. TGS says:

        Agree with this comment and point well defended too Sebee!

    14. F1heroes says:

      Actually Unser is a German word and it means ours. And Andretti isn’t sounding American either. Rahal and Johnson, though, … I give you that.

      1. Aaron says:

        Given the huge numbers of US citizens who are descended from Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Irish, (to list just a few) immigrants – what names do you think sound “American”?

    15. Wade Parmino says:

      In a Formula 1 context, the name Rossi will be associated with Alex Rossi. If he is as good as I hope he is, he will undoubtedly brand his name with F1, just as Andretti did, and then the F1 “Rossi” will be just as, if not more famous as the Moto “Rossi” (Valentino). Especially in the United States where this whole brand name thing will matter the most.

      Scott Speed wasn’t quite good enough and his bad attitude (if I remember correctly) was what secured his exit from Formula 1.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ wade parmino….oh really, the hubris! alexander rossi will never be more famous than the moto GP rossi. a guy who has 7 world championships in his hip pocket is a true legend. don’t ask my word for it just ask anyone who understands the sport. i mean, seven, world titles! do you really comprehend what that actually means?

  4. Dr T says:

    Any clues on what the issues were?

    1. Andrew Carter says:

      Dad’s cheque bouncing?

      1. Shakers97 says:

        Beat me to it Andrew

      2. aderac says:

        +1

        love the way he said ‘i’ve relinquished my seat so they could sell it to bring funds in’ as if he’s there on merit and not cash.

      3. Pkara says:

        HEADLINE NEWS
        Just heard on BBC practice 1 live
        Max Chilton back in the saddle for Practice 2 & now driving in Quali & Racing again!!!
        Whats Marussia playing at ?
        Talk about bad P.R.
        Alex in car I guess he’s clueless about whats just been anniunced by Marussia.
        Looks lije the American backers have backed off .
        Glad to see Max back who looks like a moody youngster “Kevin & Perry Mode”.

  5. AlexD says:

    Teams with no money to race in f1………….

    1. Random 79 says:

      If you insist, but just for the sake of optimisation it will be much quicker to compile a list of teams that do have the money to compete in F1:

      Mercedes
      Ferrari
      Red Bull (including TR)
      …maybe Williams too.

      Job done :)

      1. Random 79 says:

        Oh…and McLaren (I kind of missed them in the mid-field there)

      2. Robert says:

        You’ve nailed it exactly (with the McLaren add).

        The number of teams that actually can afford to compete and win points is 5. The rest are just in a free-fall of losing money, and hopefully generating some marketing value for their parent company (Force India springs to mind).

        There has always been a divide between rich and poor teams in F1…but the gap never seemed so large before.

        N.B. – And Williams only really made your list because of the Martini sponsorship deal…without that, I suspect their finances would be a lot shakier.

      3. Random 79 says:

        Good point Robert, but I actually didn’t consider the Martini deal (although I have no doubt it’s significant).

        I was thinking more of the private deal they have with Bernie which gives them a bit of a safety net for a few years yet.

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        The irony is, as Macca and Ferrari have shown this year, lots of UK £sterling/Euros/US Dollars/AUS Dollars/South African Rand/Japanese Yen/Russian Rubles/Vietnamese Dong/whatever currency the teams actually use cannot buy consistent race wins.
        You could argue Ferrari and McLaren is an exercise in wasting sponsors money! Harsh…………..

      5. AlexD says:

        yes, better give them 3 cars….no need to see other teams struggling, coming and going and getting pay drivers to survive till next race

      6. Grant H says:

        I disagree a bit, at the end of the day no sportcis made of all “real madrids”. In all team sports the guys on top are cos they have most cash. The mid field guys are just as valid look at torro rosso kvyat and now verstappen appear to be future talent, however in their current teams have no chance of a win maybe even podium, these teams are the proving ground. I do also think however if your at the back of the grid stugglung to pay bills let alone finish races whats the point, F1 might do better to lose the last 2/3 teams and let each team field 3 cars instead

      7. kenneth chapman says:

        @ grant….your comment re three car teams is what i have been promoting for quite a long time. what is the point of keeping the rats and mice on a drip feed [if that really].? mobile chicanes that in no way contribute to the actual racing and will only ever swallow vast sums of cash for little or no return.

        three car teams is the way to go. then we would see a closing of the gaps and more top drivers would be attracted as a result. it would be a win win situation. let’s face it, the bottom of the barrel will always be the bottom of the barrel.

  6. Pkara says:

    Bye bye Max.
    Shame he was doung a good job of following everyone around.
    Another Brit bites the dust for a paid driver !

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      “Contractual issues.”
      As euphemisms go, that’s pretty bland.
      If SurAlun Sugar was running Marussia, it would be more like “Chilton, you’re fired!”
      PS If Lewis car breaks down again this weekend, then I think some of the Mercedes personnel may also get their marching orders!

      1. Pkara says:

        Thats a fact Gazboy Lewis does not need any dodgy mechanics in his side of the garage. Its asif they are hired from a pool of Mercedes doughnuts.
        Yes also re Mr Sugar aka the Bob Hoskins of the business world :-D ” Max Chilton Leave it !! Leave that car alone & shut it…the garage door behind you !!” :-D

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Pkara: Perhaps SurAlan would be a good task master for Mercedes?
        “What?? Exploding brake discs? Leaking fuel tanks? You’re fired!”
        Well, he would force everyone in that team to do a proper job!

  7. Stephen Taylor says:

    What car number will Rossi have this weekend, James?

    1. Sebee says:

      I’m betting on 69.

      He has famous MotoGP name, may as well take the famous American’s MotoGP number.

    2. Random 79 says:

      Four!!! (as in watch your head Max ;) )

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        What about No.2 – as you’re in the, er, faecal matter Max?

  8. AuraF1 says:

    Wow, Rossi really must have some backing then – as Chilton brought a big conglomerate worth of backing to get his seat. It’s going to be interesting to see how Bianchi reacts – he’s lost a few quali sessions to Chilton on merit this year, unlike previous years, and if he’s expecting to get Kimi’s seat in the next couple of years he better put Rossi in his place quick.

    1. NFR says:

      If I’m to read between the lines here, I don’t think it is so much that Rossi has backing as there is issues with Chilton’s backing. Rossi won’t be a long term solution for Marussia, I believe we will see them looking for a more viable financial option for that seat if things are not resolved with Chilton.

      Quite the opportunity for Rossi though.

      1. Random 79 says:

        And Quantum…remember those guys? ;)

    2. Stephen Taylor says:

      Perhaps the money from Max’s backers has dried up.

  9. IanC says:

    How much was Chilton paying Marussia for his drive?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Not enough apparently ;)

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Perhaps Max said that his sponsorship was about 10 million Euros, when its actually 10 million Vietnamese Dong.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Which if my maths is right will buy you a packet of chips and maybe a haircut.

  10. Andrew Carter says:

    Will be interesting to see how Rossi vs Lotterer will go.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I’ll stick my neck out and say that Rossi will beat Lotterer hands down.

      After all, it’s not like they’re picking names out of a hat :)

      1. Andrew Carter says:

        Except Lotterer is probably a better driver, though lack of F1 experience will hurt him.

  11. Gaz Boy says:

    I’m loathe to use the cliche musical chairs, but………………………..
    Anyway, best of luck, but up against Bianchi, who will blossom into a Ferrari driver within a year or two (yes, it will happen by 2016 – if I’m wrong then why are the Scuderia farming him out?) it’s a tough ask. Especially with limited testing/running.

    1. Random 79 says:

      You’re not wrong…or I should really say I’ll be pretty damn surprised if it turns out you are.

      Anyway, F1 musical chairs is one of the highlights of this time of year…at least for us – I imagine it might be a little more stressful if you’re a driver :)

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Wouldn’t it be so amusing if Luca Di Monty told Kimi he was “resting” him for Monza and Singapore for Bianchi, eh?

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        PS When I said Maldonado is saving himself for a “big” performance, I forgot that the Lotus is so unreliable/slow at the moment it will probably grenade itself before the “red mist” descends.
        Probably for the best.
        What’s that cliche, God works in mysterious ways?
        By the way, what chance the Romain empire still has flashbacks/nightmares about Spa 2012? Or Fernando come to think of it.

      3. Random 79 says:

        They were both fine last year, so they should be okay this year also.

        In 2013 Grosjean managed to turn his reputation around 180°, and aside from the poor performance of the Lotus this year (or perhaps because of it) nothing’s changed.

  12. derschorsch says:

    Reading between the lines it sounds like the cashflow from the Chilton camp wasn’t up to the promissed amounts.

    Oh and btw – NOW would be the time for an update on the Bianchi column. :)

  13. dren says:

    James, any word on if there is interest in Kamui from other teams? The only spot I see him filling would be a vacant FI spot if Hulkenburg moved up.

  14. Pankaj says:

    I am not sure what is the achievement of teams like Marussia or Caterham apart from all the publicity and perpetuation of the pay driver phenomenon.

    i have simple question, do you want to see the marussias and caterhams on F1 tracks just to add the numbers or should we rather see a third Ferrari or McLaren or a Mercedes show us real competition.

    I;d much rather see these youngsters go to a decent team with their money as the third car, rather than this waste of money and talent by going to these backmarker teams which are generations behind.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Do you think adding third Mercedes, Ferrari or McLaren would add real competition right now?

      All we’d end up with is a probable Mercedes 1-2-3 on the podium (boring) with Ferrari and McLaren struggling to catch Red Bull for the scraps.

      I can’t overstate how much I am over Caterham – I’d honestly rather have seen HRT stay than have the shambles that Caterham has ended up as – but for my money seeing Bianchi get the two points for Marussia was one of the little highlights of the year.

      Just because they are small doesn’t mean they should be knocked – while certain other teams are falling apart they are slowly but surely getting it together.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Bianchi is an outstanding prospect, and if Luca Di Monty had any common sense he would promote him for 2015.
        But this is Luca Di Monty we’re talking about……………….like Napoleon or Nero before that, he’s quite happy to see his empire crumble before his eyes while Luca plays his fiddle……..
        Do agree about Bianchi’s performance at Monaco earlier this year – so far, probably the outstanding performance of F1 2014.

    2. C63 says:

      As I see it, there is a snag with teams running third cars, or customer cars – there can only be one winner and there will always be someone who comes last. If you get rid of the likes of Marussia and Caterham (the tail enders) the current midfield teams would simply become the new tail enders, they would then struggle for sponsorship and eventually die. Then the new midfielders become the tail enders and so the cycle begins again……

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ C63….have you considered the fact that with three car teams there would be far more competitive drives on the table and it would certainly close the mid field up even further. the teams would/could attract more sponsors simply because of the names involved, both team and driver. i should imagine that it would be easier to get $$$ for a third ferrari than it would for a marussia.

        the plain fact is that very few people even know what marussia is/was/will be. all these bottom feeders contribute nothing to a sunday afternoon. they attract almost nil TV exposure and they are constantly being lapped thereby creating a nuisance for all the others who are actually racing not just filling up the grid slots. these back marker teams are anachronistic and need to be eliminated. as a sweetener maybe there could be some agreement that with three car teams at least one car could be mandated to have a promising rookie at the wheel thereby offering real incentives for future stars to emerge.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Yep, that occurred to me too.

        There’s always going to be winners and losers and of course the winners should be entitled to more prize money, but I think if the FIA distributed the cash a little more evenly across the field it might help mitigate the problem a bit.

        I know I’m dreaming and it would be nice if the FIA could some day come to the same conclusion, but in the meantime crazy allocations and private deals continue to screw up the field.

      3. RodgerT says:

        @Kenneth Chapman
        You do realize that it wasn’t all that long ago that it wasn’t uncommon for the only cars to finish on the lead lap were those who ended up on the podium? And sometimes not even all of them.

        Just as an example it was only 15 years ago, 2000, that in the couple of results I checked (Australia, and GB) only the points scorers were on the lead lap, and points only went to 6th then.

      4. C63 says:

        @Kenneth Chapman
        I take your point about sponsorship being easier to find for a team like Ferrari compared to ,say, Marussia and I agree, on paper, it looks like a good idea to have more cars who have a chance of winning [in the mix]. But there is still the problem of only one car being able to win and always having a loser.
        If 3 car teams are allowed, that’s great if you are a front running team as it increases your chance of winning and the resultant exposure for your sponsors increases too. But, let’s say McLaren get things sorted next year with the new Honda PU and Mercedes are still dominant. Suddenly Red Bull can only really hope for a 7th place or maybe a 4th or a 5th if the front runners have a problem. Then Ferrari manage to get their ducks in a row [finally] so now Red Bull are scrabbling over 10th ,11th and 12th. How long before Dieter decides to pack up and market his eneregy drinks in a different manner – who wants to buy an energy drink from a team of losers? Overnight we lose 6 cars from the grid. How do we replace them as the entry level to join has gone up from circa £60million/season for a team like Marussia to £250million+ if you want to compete at the sharp end?
        For me it just doesn’t work and my over riding reason for not liking the idea is that Bernie does! That and customer car teams where the same problems would arise.
        Generally things Bernie likes are good for Bernie and tend to be a lot less good for anyone else :-(

      5. C63 says:

        @Random79
        You are right abut the unequal way in which the prize money is distributed being a problem (allthough I believe its FOM and not the FIA who dish it out). But if we had 3 car teams I fear it would be worse, as the power would be then be concentrated in even fewer teams than now, which can never end well.There has been talk about the way in which the finances of F1 are managed would actually breach EU competition laws – sadly no one has been brave enough to take Bernie on and find out. Hey ho, one day.

      6. kenneth chapman says:

        @ C63…yes, you have some interesting points there but all the same i still think that three cars is an option that should be pursued. i matters not one whit whether or not bernie likes the idea.

        three car teams would provide more competetive racing for certain. yes you are right, of course there can be only one winner and there will always be those who came last but the overall competetiveness would be on a far higher level given the ‘quality’ of the cars. from a financial prospect three car teams could actually lower the cost given economies of scale. we would then see drivers like maybe vergne/algersuari/buemi et al getting extended F1 careers.

        there are a lot of advantages in going down this route and not too much downside.

  15. deancassady says:

    I think Bianchi could be on the move, Ferrari or otherwise.
    I look forward to see the benchmarking between the two of them; I expect Bianchi to show well, comparatively, based on overwhelmingly more experience.
    However, the whole thing is so complicated, and getting just one thing wrong could blow Bianchi’s weekend, and a host of lucky episodes, at this race of (even for F1) unusually high degree of variable variables,, while of lowly probabililty, could hoist Rossi high.
    I expect Lotterer to beat Ericson, right out of the box; he could be a gritty combatant, but I would have rather seen him against Kobayashi.
    Still hoping to see Kobayashi at Honda next year.

  16. Olivier says:

    Wow! What a track to have your first Grand Prix. A true racer’s track. Michael Schumacher debuted here as well. Good Luck!

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Mind you, Michael did have some testing before the 1991 Belgian GP – at the Silverstone South Circuit I think. I’m not sure about Rossi, but with the limited testing in current grand prix racing, I doubt it’s much, certainly not enough to knock Bianchi into the weeds.
      It does show the fallacy of restricting circuit running for (to quote Mott the Hoople), “all the young dudes.” A bit of preparation makes all the difference for the young guns. That’s why Verstappen Jnr will actually be in the pound seat next year because he will have a full winters testing programme behind him – for a young blade, there’s nothing like actual track time getting to grips (literally) with your grand prix steed.

  17. zombie says:

    Can Ferrari put Kimi on gardening leave and give Bianchi a chance ? I just dont see how Bianchi can do any worse than Kimi at the moment.

  18. Larry Parker says:

    As ecstatic as I am, didn’t think Rossi really had much sponsorship. Crazy question – did Bernie write the check? Maybe he’s realizing his anti-American bias is costing F1 major and desperately needed marketing opportunities.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Thing is though, its better for a driver to make his grand prix debut at the start of the year when he’s had a full winter’s testing behind him, but I suppose beggars can’t be choosers and all that………
      It’s not Rossi’s fault though – the silly restrictions on testing have made it difficult for all young drivers.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        á@gaz boy….the FIA should really re think this stupid testing ban. they should open it up for rookies at least. if a team decides to place a rookie for the following year then that should trigger a testing period for that driver only and for say three sessions in any one year. it would only apply to rookies so what could the FIA possibly object to. it could also be mandated that the car used must be identical to the current model being raced therefore eliminating possible upgrades being used for testing. that way it would totally driver related.

  19. Paul says:

    I’m a bit disgusted by the disloyalty in the response from the Chilton camp. There’s always been huge insecurity from Chilton, as though he believes he’s there on merit and is heroically stepping aside for the good on the team. I don’t think his response will go down too well with the team, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Max’s time in F1 is now over.

    1. Random 79 says:

      “I’m a bit disgusted by the disloyalty in the response from the Chilton camp”

      Perhaps that’s because there is no Chilton camp…at least not that I’m aware of (but if anyone is a member in good standing then you have my apologies and feel free to tell me I’m wrong).

  20. Rich C says:

    How much do these rides go for?
    I’ve never seen anyone actually give a number…

  21. ilpaul says:

    So Marussia lineup will be Bianchi and Rossi: two quite common italian surnames for two non italian drivers.
    But the funny side about italian here is the meaning of the surnames in italian, Red and White: the two main colours of Marussia livery

    1. Random 79 says:

      Well spotted :)

  22. Wade says:

    Could HaaS have paid Marussia to test an American driver?

  23. Chris Chong says:

    When you consider that Kobayashi put a Sauber on the front row in Spa in 2012 (granted, he was then hampered by a fault with the clutch during the start and got caught up in the subsequent 1st-corner incident), it boggles the mind that the excuse given for Lotterer taking his place is “experience”.

    If experience matters, then why on earth is Marcus Ericsson still in the other car?

    The new Caterham management should be more upfront like the Marussia and tell it like it is – Kobayashi lost his seat because Lotterer is bringing in money.

    If Colin Kolles is trying to cement his reputation as a dodgy team principal / adviser / whatever, he’s on the right track by doing stuff like this, the sacking of Caterham staff and subsequent threats of SUING the ex-staff for complaining.

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      interesting comment….hadn’t thought about that.

    2. kenneth chapman says:

      @ chris chong…….could you possibly provide a link to the ‘lotterer is bringing cash’ comment. i didn’t think he was getting the drive for zip but to date i haven’t seen any mention of lotterer actually paying for this drive?

  24. janis 1207 says:

    It is becoming obvious, all is NOT well at the end of the grid.
    This kind of acrobatics with the drivers (at both Caterham and Marussia, also Sauber with Sirotkin) clearly indicate a desperate lack of money.
    I also can’t help wandering what will become of the PDVSA sponsorship to Williams, given the troubles in Venezuela.

  25. Bru72 says:

    Brilliant.
    Be interesting to see if he can get closer to Bianchi.

  26. Ol' Peculier says:

    James – any chance you can ask Rossi about his choice of numbers, has he chosen it because 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything?

    (If it is, I now have a new favourite drive!)

  27. darima says:

    They have just said on sky that max will be making the race, my word this is supposed to be the pinnacle of motor sport

  28. Rishi says:

    This is all quite worrying, irrespective of Chilton getting his drive back, because it serves to illustrate just how precarious the financial position of these teams are. Caterham, Marussia, Sauber; we’ve been hearing about it for months but we’re now, it seems, seeing the problems play out more visibly.

    Having said all that, and despite agreeing it’s a hard blow on Kamui Kobayashi, I am actually really happy for Andre Lotterer! I remember him being a young Jaguar driver (even as part of their brief F3 junior team I think) and he has got a good racing pedigree. He’s one of those many drivers who slip through the F1 net but who I think can do a competent job in the sport, if not more. Yes, his biggest successes have come in Endurance Racing but three Le Mans titles is not to be scoffed at and he’s also been super-competitive in Japanese single-seater racing (very consistent in Formula Nippon/Super Formula – though only one title in 2011, under F1 rules I think this would have been increased to three, looking at wikipedia?). I wish him well for his debut F1 weekend.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I wouldn’t argue any of that, but I’d add that if Caterham are in the slightest bit interested in beating Marussia he should be replacing Ericsson, not Kobayashi.

  29. AusSteelMan says:

    Poor old Max, finally has a DNF and shortly afterwards gets kicked… :-)

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