Chilton happy to test more as Razia sits out Barcelona

2013 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Max Chilton says he has no fitness concerns as he began his fourth consecutive day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“We haven’t done lots of laps, I’m sure I can do more,” said Chilton following his third straight day at the wheel of the MR02.

Marussia say his team mate Luiz Razia has not run in this week’s four-day test because they preferred to keep Chilton in the car:

“Given the stop-start nature of the running, it has made sense to keep Max in the car for consistency and he will therefore continue into tomorrow, a day where the weather is likely to intervene in proceedings.”

However Razia’s absence from the cockpit has prompted speculation about his place at the team. Razia’s deal to drive for Marussia this year wasn’t confirmed until after the start of testing in Jerez.

Chilton said the team have a lot more work to do in terms of understanding their new car:

“We’ve still got some aero stuff to come. It’s really kind of getting the set-up right.

“We’ve got a base car, there’s so many things with an F1 car you can change, it’s amazing. There’s definitely a lot we can do on the mechnical or braking side to it, with the KERS, the team haven’t run that before. So there’s plenty more to come in both areas.”

He said he was hoping to complete a race simulation in the car before the first Grand Prix of the season:

“I can’t wait to do the next test and hopefully get a full race, that’d be nice. I’ll be smiling all the way to Australia, ready to go.”

“I think until you’ve done it with the pit stops, non-stopping, just doing a full duration, I don’t think you actually know how it’s going to be. We’ve done it split up, it’s not the same, so I’m quite looking forward to doing the full.”

2013 F1 season

Browse all 2013 F1 season articles

Image © F1 Fanatic |

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

26 comments on “Chilton happy to test more as Razia sits out Barcelona”

  1. This season is becoming a bit weird everyday. Now they are not running one rookie to make an advantage for another rookie because it makes sense? How unjustifiable the explanation is. Money is talking louder than anything n F1 now and its definitely very very unhealthy.

    1. @ambikm – If Razia and/or his sponsors promised a certain amount of money in exchange for a seat with the team, and then failed to pay that money when it was due, why should Marussia humour them and continue to give Razia track time even when he failed to hold up his end of the deal?

      Instead, they can run Chilton for the week, giving Razia more time to come up with the money that he had originally promised. If he doesn’t produce it, then Marussia will likely look to someone else to take that seat.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys Who do you think would be most likely to replace Razia if he doesn’t come up with the money? Petrov? A different moneyed rookie? I see they don’t have a contracted third driver at the moment.

        1. Anthony Bosley (@)
          22nd February 2013, 11:39

          It would be good for Petrov in a sense that it’s a Russian driver for a Russian team, plus we all know they’re going to need at least one russian racing next year at Sochi.

          And it’s not like Petrov is a rookie, maybe a pay driver but he’s had decent results through his career and probably deserved another year at renault.

          And it’s also not like he hasn’t taken a seat mid-test before either.

          1. @bosley – I believe Nikolai Fomenko (who owns Marussia and is officially the team’s “engineering director”) has said that he doesn’t want Petrov – or any other Russian driver for that matter – unless he is sure he can give said Russian driver a competitive car.

            As much as I am a fan, Vitaly Petrov isn’t the only iron in the fire of Russian drivers. Mikhail Aleshin could probably stand on his own two feet in Formula 1, but he’s been hampered by poor career choices, like his disastrous move into GP2 with Carlin in 2011. That said, he’s just signed up to race for Tech 1 in Formula Renault 3.5 (he beat Daniel Ricciardo to the 2010 title), so this year is going to speak volumes for his ability.

            The Russian driver that I’m most excited about – in fact, I think he’s one of the most promising talents out there – is Sergey Sirotkin. He’s won a Formula Abarth title, was a regular feature on the AutoGP podium last year, and scored points in twenty-two of the twenty-four races in Italian F3 as well. Those might be obscure series, but the cars are very different and he’s only seventeen years old. He’s joined Igor Salaquarda’s ISR Racing in Formula Renault 3.5 this year, and while they’re not the greatest team, they’ve had plenty of success with Sam Bird, Esteban Guerrieri and Daniel Ricciardo in the past.

        2. @olliej – I have no idea. And at this point, I’m kind of sick of the silly season so I don’t really care that much; at this point, I just want to get into a season of racing. I can’t really think of anyone who might replace him, either, since the well-moneyed drivers who could join the team are all spoken for, either in Formula Renault or GP2.

      2. Where did you find that report of Razia’s sponsor not paying money to Marussia?

        1. It’s pure speculation – but the only explanation that makes any sense.

          1. Could be. But my understanding is that when you have signed someone on the dotted lines then why haven’t you fixed your ties?

          2. Anthony Bosley (@)
            22nd February 2013, 11:59

            Trulli 2012, anything can happen.

          3. @bosley – Trulli was not a pay driver. He got replaced as Timo,Kov and Kobyashi did. But whatever, I mean if they sort out the money thing,are they going to put Luiz for the rest of the test days? I seriously doubt it. Then how can one expect team equality? and ultimately Marussia will fall apart from the development and progress. This what says that F1 is somehow in trouble and its not good for the sport and us the fans.

          4. Valentino Rossi or Sebastien Loeb maybe :) ? Both have pockets deep enough + sponsors

          5. @f1lauri – Rossi I think would be unlikely, as of course he has ridden motorbikes for most of his career, but Loeb would be awesome, if not highly unlikely though: he has tried to get into F1 in the past, only to be told he can’t because he doesn’t have a superliscence and can’t get one because he hasn’t done enough circuit racing. And he’s pretty much nearing retirement age now. We can dream though!

          6. @ambikm

            But my understanding is that when you have signed someone on the dotted lines then why haven’t you fixed your ties?

            Most of the time, teams stagger the payments rather than requesting one lump sum. They do it for three reasons: firstly, it places less pressure on the sponsor; being asked to produce millions of dollars in one go can be difficult at times, since that money might not be lying around. Secondly, it gives the sponsor some degree of flexibility; if they aren’t happy with the driver’s performance halfway through the year, then they can cut back their sponsorship, and they won’t lose as much money than if they paid is all up-front. Finally, the team doesn’t need that money straight away; they will plan out the development of the car, and then ask for as much money as they need at pre-determined dates in order to reach those targets.

            If Razia is being dropped, and if it is because of money issues – and I’m only speculating here – then it seems a bit odd for Marussia to stand him down after just two weeks. Chilton joined the team months ago, and would have paid some of the money up-front, which would then be used to develop the car, so Marussia probably aren’t in dire need of finances. I’d say the most likely scenario is that Marussia agreed in principle to take Razia, with the finer details of the contract to be worked out at a later date since they would have been busy with testing at Jerez at the time. But now Razia’s sponsors are resisting on some of the finer terms of the contract, and Marussia have sidelined him until it is resolved, because why should they continue to run him if they’re not being paid the money they were promised?

            Of course, that’s just speculation. There are plenty of other equally-plausible explanations for it that don’t involve Razia losing his seat. But I get the feeling that something isn’t right; Razia has said that he doesn’t mind missing out on testing milage because he’s adapted pretty quickly to new cars in the past. However, looking at his racing record, he’s been in GP2 on and off since 2008. Before that, he was doing selected races in the Euroseries 3000 (now AutoGP) and Formula Renault 3.5 – and all of those series use a spec chassis. If he’s adapted to them quickly, it’s because the teams have already had a wealth of knowledge about their cars, since the cars don’t change from year to year. And even when they do change (GP2 operates on a three-year cycle), there’s no substantial differences.

  2. Sure enough Chilton won’t mind getting a lot of running in the car!

    In a sense it really does seem logical for the team to have one of their rookie drivers do a lot with the car so they have a more reliable basis for deciding on what to do further. But their moment of not knowing where to work on first on Wednesday already rather hints to this being a decision on money not yet arrived rather than a competitive decision.
    Off course its also possible that Chilton’s dad is really buying into the team to guarantee him more attention, but I hope that is not it (I felt awkward with Piquet racing in GP2 too)

  3. Please let Timo Glock come back!

    1. If they couldn’t afford him a month ago, why would they suddenly be able to afford him now?

    2. Timo’s now got a pretty good deal going on in DTM, why would he want to come back to a team that is more than likely going to be scrapping for last place with Lotus again?

      1. Exactly, but Lotus Caterham: why did they have to confuse us with the names?!

  4. The same excuses used by Lotus to give Romain extra test day in Mugello and make Kimi sit out of it.

  5. Chilton is the son of daddy and this is making the diference in F1 people are always trying to give a british driver the spotlight, is clearly Razia is a better driver than Chilton, and the Marussia team, is giving him previlegies razia doesnt have and belive this has nothing with sponsor money, its only the f1 giving British driver advantages other drivers dont have.

    1. clearly Razia is a better driver than Chilton

      Their GP2 results beg to differ. Razia might have finished second last year and Chilton fourth, but it took Razia four years to get some actual results, whilst Chilton did it in three – and for the first two years, Chilton was in uncompetitive teams, whereas in 2010, Razia finished eleventh with Rapax, who won both titles with Maldonado; and in 2011, he was with Caterham, who have consistently out-scored more-established rivals since joining the sport in 2010.

  6. I would hardly call Marussia a Russian team. They’re based in Banbury and I doubt (m)any of the mechanics are Russian.

    It could be that Razia is not giving very good feedback, and that Chilton is doing a better job. However, it is probably do with Razia’s cheques not clearing. No doubt he’ll be booted out for Tom Chilton next week and the team will be christened Chilton Racing from next season.

  7. Get ready to welcome back Sakon Yamamoto to F1 :-(

  8. David Langdown
    23rd February 2013, 1:46

    What is the real reason for this damaging swing to “pay drivers”……….Could’nt have anything to do with money hungry used car salesmen could it ?

Comments are closed.