Razia confirmed in Marussia’s all-rookie squad

2013 F1 season

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Marussia will field two rookie drivers in F1 this year as Luiz Razia has been confirmed as team mate to Max Chilton.

Razia was previously part of the team’s young driver programme. “It is fantastic to be back with the Marussia F1 Team and with pretty much the same group of people I worked with back in 2010 when I was reserve driver,” he said.

“Having been in that position, 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 One 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.”

Razia drove for Toro Rosso and Force India during last year’s young driver tests. In 2011 he drove twice during free practice for Lotus (now Caterham).

The 23-year-old Brazilian finished second in GP2 last year having been leading the series with four races to go.

The last team to begin a season with two drivers who had never raced in F1 before was HRT in 2010, with Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “Razia confirmed in Marussia’s all-rookie squad”

  1. I quite like the six rookies (if you include Bianchi, who is probable for Force India). They give F1 a youthful, fresh look, it was just a shame their debuts came at the expense of the high-calibre drivers Glock, Kovalainen, Petrov and Kobayashi. Good luck to ’em I say.

    1. Honestly, I’d rather have those four drivers back. Keep Bottas and Gutierrez, though; get rid of Pic and di Resta instead.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys I do agree with you that di Resta should be given the flick, needs to do a hell of a lot as team leader this year to have any future in my opinion.

        1. He was beaten by Sutil in 2011, and by Hulkenberg in 2012. Drivers have been fired for less in the past, so I suspect that the only reason why he’s still got a seat is because of his connection to Mercedes (and possibly because Hulkenberg left and so the team figured a bit of continuity within the team might help). With speculation that the team will take Jules Bianchi to get a Ferrari engine deal for 2014, di Resta is really going to have to pull up his socks this year.

          1. I don’t understand why people are saying that di Resta should be sacked for losing to his team mates. If losing to your team mate was the major decider half the grid would be kicker out every year!

          2. It’s consistently losing to his team-mates that is the problem. And also stuff like saying that whoever Force India takes for the second seat should put the team’s interests ahead of their own ambitions – only to give an interview two days later where he says he already has his eye on a front-running drive in 2014.

      2. I thought pic did a pretty good job against timo last year considering his inexperience?

        1. @jacoz – This is Formula 1. If I want to watch drivers who do a “pretty good job”, I’ll watch GP2.

          1. But a lot of drivers have had equally unspectacular 1st seasons and gone on to do rather better.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys What exactly do you think that Pic should have done then? Won the championship in the slowest car on the grid? Come off it man, just getting those cars to the end of a race is an achievement. You really can’t measure the individual performance against anything other than how they measure up against their teammates – In that respect, Pic did very well against a very experienced driver who is widely thought to be a very decent peddler.

            If every driver on the grid was as good a the liked of Hamilton and co, then nobody would look special. They’re rare talents, but even then the difference between a world champion’s pace and a backmarker driver’s pace in the same car would be little more than a few tenths.

          3. @prisoner-monkeys OK let me re-phrase for you, by pretty good I mean really good. For a rookie with no F1 experience against a highly rated driver like Glock.

          4. @jacoz – I think that the best that can be said of Charles Pic is that he did enough to justify a second season in Formula 1. But he did not do enough to justify getting that seat at the expense of a driver like Kobayashi, Glock, Petrov or Kovalainen.

            The difference between Pic’s money and his talent may be smaller than with other drivers, but his money is still a factor. I’d be very surprised if he managed to move further up the grid than Caterham, and I don’t think Formula 1 would be poorer for it if he lost his seat. Right now, he is on the second-to-last rung of the Formula 1 food chain, just above the unproven rookies. If he lost his seat to a promising rookie driver like (in no particular order) Robin Frijns, James Calado, Mitch Evans, Antonio Felix da Costa, Daniel Abt, Felipe Nasr, Tio Ellinas, Jules Bianchi, Kevin Korjus, Patric Niederhauser, Robert Visoiu, Rio Haryanto, Nigel Melker, Sam Bird or Kevin Magnussen, I don’t think anyone would shed a tear. Yes, some of those drivers might show more potential than others, but the point is that Charles Pic is hardly in a league of his own. Of the twenty-one drivers currently on the grid, I can safely say that I rank him in the bottom five.

      3. @prisoner-monkeys – I am confused as to how you can justifiably say this

        keep Bottas and Gutierrez

        and this

        This is Formula 1. If I want to watch drivers who do a “pretty good job”, I’ll watch GP2

        in the same thread.

        Surely Gutierrez only qualifies as a decent driver who would do no more than a “pretty good job” judging from his less than emphatic GP2 results in what was a particularly weak field? I also think you have attached far to much to @jacoz ‘s “pretty good job” comment: I believe in a modest way he was trying to convey the point that in actual fact Pic, despite being a rookie up against a reasonably highly-rated and experienced driver, faired rather well indeed. You haven’t left much time to formulate your opinion of him and in what time you have you have been hypercritical of him.

        With respect to the first comment of your I have referenced though I am absolutely willing to allow Gutierrez the chance to properly prove himself before formulating any significant opinion on him but in terms of current results he is looking to be one of the least promising of the rookies his year, so I am intrigued as to why you would keep him at the expense of Di Resta or Pic, or if we are to take who he is replacing Kobayashi (who is someone that I do not rate the highest but currently for sure higher than Gutierrez)?

        1. Because Bottas and Gutierrez won the GP3 Series, which is rapidly catching up to GP2 in terms of quality.

          Besides, after winning the GP3 Series title, Bottas moved to Williams and became their test and reserve driver. The last driver Williams had in that role was Nico Hulkenberg.

          1. You spent most of last year, and 2010 if I recall correctly bashing Hulkenberg for under performing. Based on his rookie 2010 season in any case I’d say he only did a ‘pretty good job’ and therefore shouldn’t be in F1 by your standards.

          2. “Rapidly catching” implies it is still behind and also that means if we go back the two years to when Gutierrez won it, by reverse logic, would have been much further behind. So by your incredibly strict standards it would appear Gutierrez hasn’t met them.

  2. At the very least, this is going to create an interesting showdown between Caterham and Marussia.

    Both have two drivers – van der Garde and Razia – who spent four years racing in GP2, with moderate amounts of success, and who each single-handedly carried their GP2 teams in 2012 as they were paired with weak team-mates (Rodolfo Gonzalez at Caterham; Simon Trummer at Arden).

    Both have two drivers – Pic and Chilton – who took four years to get to Formula 1 once they entered the second-tier GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 Series, and both experienced a massive turn-around in form going into their final GP2 seasons: Pic was tenth overall in 2010, which became fourth in 2011; while Chilton was twentieth in 2011, which became fourth in 2012.

    Despite this symmetry, each team has gone for a different philosophy in their car design. The Caterham CT03 is really just an evolution of the car that raced in Brazil last year. On the other hand, the Marussia MR02 features substantial revisions when comapred to the MR01.

  3. 3 rookies at the 2 backmarker teams….am I the only one expecting a first corner crash at Melbourne?

    1. I always expect a first corner crash at Melbourne; very likely to be VERY far in front of these guys though.

      1. @warfieldf1 No, his psychologist is really good!

    2. (probably) 6 rookies spread across the whole midfield + a couple of guys that proved are not so bright in the past. I expect first corner crashes at half the races in the calendar, to be honest.

      1. @tony031r Hear hear! That said, how often do we not get a first corner mishap?

  4. Is it just me or does Razia always look like he’s planning something sinister?

    1. @geemac Like, say, stealing an F1 seat he’s unworthy of? ;)

      1. Even more sinister thatn that!

      2. Probably the most deserving GP2 driver from last year, and yet Chilton / Van Der Garde are there? Okay then.

        It’s a bit like applying for a new job, how can you get the experience they want without having the experience! Only time will tell how deserving these rookies are. So step away from the keyboard and have a lie down.

        1. “Probably the most deserving GP2 driver from last year”

          Yes Razia did very well but I would have thought that Valsecchi deserved an F1 race seat ahead of Razia as he won the GP2 title.

          Valsecchi has raced against Razia for the past four consecutive seasons in GP2 and he not only beat Razia to the title in 2012 but he beat him in the previous three seasons aswell, including season 2011 when they where team mates at Lotus (now Caterham).

  5. Pathetic. The new HRT. The car looks good though, so it’s a pity

    1. Really now? Razia and Chilton are hardly like Karthikeyan, Yamamoto or Chandok.

  6. Now they’re on a more even footing with regards to KERS, they will probably be worth keeping an eye on with respect to Caterham.

  7. Eurgh, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an underwhelming grid of drivers as this year. At least in the early nineties the top ten teams tended to have decent pilots and it was the other five-or-so teams who picked up the pay driver dregs.

    1. @olliej

      At least in the early nineties the top ten teams tended to have decent pilots and it was the other five-or-so teams who picked up the pay driver dregs.

      Well firstly that is an unfair comparison considering there are only 11 teams on the grid this year in comparison to the frequently 15+ in the early 90’s. Secondly, the current top teams all have fairly decent driver line-ups (Red Bull with MW & SV, Ferrari with FA & FM, McLaren with SP & JB, Mercedes with LH & NR, Lotus with RG & KR), totalling 5 world champions, so if you are implying that the top teams now have poor line-ups you are mistaken.

      I agree that Marussia and Caterham’s driver line-ups aren’t exactly the most exciting but that is akin to the 90’s which you have referred to, so really shouldn’t you be happy that it is only now two teams as apposed to the 5 (usually much more) that are employing pay drivers? And these are a new breed of pay drivers: they can actually drive to an extent unlike many from the 90’s who were there solely for money and nothing else who had no right whatsoever to even be contesting in pre-qualifying.

      So in essence don’t tar everyone with the same brush – the majority of the teams have two drivers who are deserving enough for an F1 seat.

      1. @vettel1 The fact that there are only 11 teams now makes it worse, because the unworthy drivers are spread across a smaller number of teams, whereas in 1992 (as an example) there were nine teams that fielded lineups that wholly merited their place in F1.
        Obviously the top five 2013 teams have excellent lineups, it’s the midfielders that are the problem. Toro Rosso and Williams (just about) have two quality drivers each but all the other teams (assuming Force India take Bianchi or Senna) have at least one driver who could be said to be unworthy of a place in F1 when past results and the quality of those who failed to get a seat are taken into account.
        I don’t think the fact that the modern pay drivers can ‘actually drive to an extent’ is much of a comfort for people who want to see the best, or failing that at least worthy, drivers in Formula 1. If the likes of Kobayashi, Sutil, Glock and Frijns are being kept out by the likes of van der Garde, Razia, Chilton and Gutierrez then something is wrong with the sport.

        1. @olliej – I agree I would like to see the best of the best driving in the top level of motorsport but currently that isn’t looking to be possible with the current financial climate. We’re not in such a bad position currently though: I would say Williams have a good line-up and Toro Rosso too (although perhaps not clear-cut; we may see Felix Da Costa in one of the seats though if Vergne or Ricciardo doesn’t meet the strict demands of the Red Bull young drivers squad).

          I wouldn’t say Bianchi is unworthy of an F1 seat though: he performed very well in FR3.5 (which was a noticeably better field that that of GP2) so if Force India field him alongside Di Resta I would say they have a line-up with two drivers worthy of being in F1, making 8 teams out of the 11. Sauber have one very good driver in Hulkenberg so one could say we have 17/22 drivers worthy of a place in F1, which is a better strike rate than in the 90’s.

          If the likes of Kobayashi, Sutil, Glock and Frijns are being kept out by the likes of van der Garde, Razia, Chilton and Gutierrez then something is wrong with the sport.

          The four new drivers you have cited there I agree are not looking promising but Kobayashi, Sutil & Glock, although better than the four I was referring to, are not so brilliant that their lack of presence on the grid has left me outraged. They are no Sebastian Vettel or Fernando Alonso, so I’d rather see someone like Frijns take their place (although for sure not Guitierrez!).

          1. @vettel1 I have always been pretty hard on Bianchi, and he may well turn out better than I expect, if he does it will rather ruin my ‘unworthy drivers are taking over the grid’ theory! It’s because I see him as someone who failed to make the grade in GP2, decided to try FR3.5 because he thought it would be easier and got beaten by someone in their first year.
            I’ve always had a soft spot for plucky midfielders who may only score the odd podium (or less) in their careers but you couldn’t have a grid without them, so for that point of view I am outraged that Kobayashi and Glock etc. have lost their seats to the moneyed unworthies (not necessarily just the rookies, e.g. I’d put Senna in this category too.).

          2. @olliej – I’ve always been a supporter of the constant change in the midfield. If a driver in there fails to perform to the level where they are going to progress up the field after 3 or 4 years I will support a rookie being brought in who has the potential to join a front-running team in the future. So in that respect I am not outraged that Kovalinen, Kobayashi etc. are no longer in F1: they were realistically going to remain no better than midfielders.

  8. What’s that like 5 world champions, 6 rookies and a few in the middle to make up numbers, errrr. Give me the best drivers in the best tech in the world. Such a simple concept. Could teams be doing a big money grab/hord to coast through this “evelautonary” year

    1. Give me the best drivers in the best tech in the world. Such a simple concept.

      Here’s another simple concept: spend the money on feeding everyone in the world. Just because a concept is simple, doesn’t mean that actually carrying it out is simple, especially in this economy. I also hardly think teams are willing to lose a full year of competition just pay for their 2014 season. Sponsors might lose interest, investors might lose interest and proper drivers might be scared off by your team having a terrible season enough to not want to drive for you in the future.

      Besides, if you want the best drivers in the best tech, prepared to be looking at Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren driving Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen, Button and Perez around. Sure sounds like fun.

  9. People are awfully harsh on rookies nowadays. Of course they will have to prove themselves this year, but how much exactly does someone have to do to “deserve” a seat in F1?
    It’s seems like people expect up and coming drivers to have won F3, GP2, WSR, obtained a medical degree, a pilot’s license, completed astronaut training, and spent years living with Buddhist monks foregoing any form of earthly sponsorship before they can even be considered to make there debut in a backmarker team.

  10. I’m looking forward to seeing Frijns in a seat.

    1. Who isn’t! :)

      1. Jules Bianchi isn’t… However, most other people are looking forward to Frijns as well, including me!

  11. Personally I don’t think anyone should be allowed a debut in F1 until they’ve raced at least three seasons in F1. I don’t know where these guys get off, having their first F1 when they’ve only raced in lower classes. I think all my favourite drivers should just carry on driving forever, and no new drivers should ever be allowed to step up into F1.


    1. Three seasons is nowhere near enough @mazdachris They should have to win at least one F1 World Championship as well, junior championships just aren’t worth anything these days ;)

      1. @olliej Yeah I think you’re right. And it should be a ‘proper’ champhionship win too. Y’know, one where they win it using the slowest car on the grid. Which they made themselves. At home. Out of cardboard.

        Basically the only people who should every be allowed to drive in F1, and the only ones who deserve even the slightest bit of praise, are those who are clearly going to break every record in the book. If there’s not a 50% or greater chance of them winning at least 8 consecutive championships just in their debut season, frankly they’re not even good enough to drive my Focus to the carwash.

    2. Exactly! It’d be nice to see Frijns over Gutierrez for example but I don’t really get where this notion of every rookie being terrible has come from.

  12. I Love the Pope
    6th February 2013, 17:24

    Once again I agree with a prisoner monkeys post…I’m going to buy a lottery ticket today.

    But he’s spot on. If we wanted to watch drivers do “pretty well” we would watch GP2 or something other than F1. We have higher expectations for F1 that do get met with three or four teams, but they are the exception.

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