To no-one’s very great surprise, Marussia has announced today that Luis Razia will line up alongside Max Chilton on the 2013 grid. It will mean that the team is fielding two rookies, with no Grand Prix starts between them. Razia replaces Timo Glock who had 91 GP starts.
The Brazilian GP2 driver had been mooted as the team’s second driver for some weeks, but clearly the deal was not ready to be announced yesterday at the roll out of the new car. He will get straight down to work this morning in Day 2 of testing at Jerez.
This leaves only one seat on the F1 grid. at Force India, where the identity of Paul di Resta’s team mate is due to be announced before the start of the sec on test in Barcelona in two weeks time. Jules Bianchi and Adrian Sutil remain the front runners, but other drivers are still under consideration.
Bruno Senna meanwhile has announced that he is racing in the GT series with Aston Martin and Jaime Alguersuari is also no longer in the race.
Razia, 23, was runner up in GP2 last year and the back of the grid is now dominated by GP2 graduates, with the exception of Toro Rosso (Red Bull’s driver programme tends to avoid GP2 in favour of World Series by Renault).
In total there are now 11 GP2 graduates on the F1 grid out of 22 seats.
In his road to F1, Razia has also taken part in Young Guns tests with Caterham, Toro Rosso and Force India.
Razia said, “I know this Team rewards determination and success in its young drivers, the intention of its Programme being to school the next generation of racing driver. I am very proud to take the step up to a Formula 1 race seat, particularly with the Team I began this journey with, since they helped show me what it takes to progress to the highest level.”
F1 Entry List 2013 season
Red Bull – Sebastian Vettel / Mark Webber
Ferrari – Fernando Alonso / Felipe Massa
McLaren – Jenson Button / Sergio Perez
Lotus – Kimi Raikkonen / Romain Grosjean
Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton / Nico Rosberg
Sauber – Nico Hulkenberg / Esteban Gutierrez
Force India – Paul di Resta / TBA (Bianchi/Sutil)
Williams – Pastor Maldonado / Valtteri Bottas
Toro Rosso – Daniel Ricciardo / Jean-Eric Vergne
Caterham – Charles Pic / Giedo van der Garde
Marussia – Max Chilton / Luiz Razia