Gonzalez to make first F1 appearance during practice

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Rodolfo Gonzalez, Marussia, 2013Marussia reserve Rodolfo Gonzalez will make his first appearance in an official F1 session in Bahrain tomorrow.

The 26-year-old Venezuelan driver will take over Jules Bianchi’s car for the first practice session. Gonzalez has previously tested for Force India and Caterham and is Marussia’s reserve driver.

“I?m really happy with this opportunity to drive in my first FP1 session of the season,” said Gonzalez. “It will be a nice feeling to be back in a car ?ǣ especially to drive a Formula 1 car again ?ǣ and with my previous F1 experience I feel more than comfortable and ready.”

“I love this circuit. It will be quite dusty in FP1 but it?s also good fun and I?m looking forward to seeing what I can achieve. I would like to thank the team for their faith in me. They have made me feel so welcome and have bent over backwards to involve me in every aspect of the racing.”

Gonzalez will make further practice session appearances during the year and the team will alternate which of their regular drivers’ cars he takes over.

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    Keith Collantine
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    29 comments on “Gonzalez to make first F1 appearance during practice”

    1. When the naming was announced, Finnish TV commentator who commentates practice session as well as regular support classes said: “I hope I don’t have to tell anything about him”, which tells a lot about his abilities.

      1. @bleu The scoreline between him and van der Garde at Caterham in GP2 last year read 160 to 6.

        Can’t add an awful lot to that. Except perhaps this.

        1. The scoreline between him and van der Garde at Caterham in GP2 last year read 160 to 6.

          @keithcollantine Wow, that’s terrible. What a shame he gets to drive an F1 car and so many talented drivers don’t.

          1. That’s the way Formula 1 has worked for years. Maybe unfortunate, but without the money he brings in Marussia can’t pay the bills, and even less seats would be available. If it wasn’t for guys like this, Bianchi wouldn’t have had a seat this year (maybe). We don’t have to like it, sure, but it’s the reality of things.

            1. You’re right, it’s not an ideal world and it’s better this way than it would be if top teams took pay drivers. Still, he’s just terrible. Pay drivers like Chilton, van der Garde and Gutierrez at least have some talent along.

        2. What happened there? lol

        3. Just hope he won’t damage Bianchi’s car.
          I wish Gonzalez shines, but having seen the GP2 season last year, he was bitterly disappointing.

          1. You can’t disappoint if there is nothing to be hoped for

    2. My first thought (when I saw the article headline in the side bar) was “Oh God, I thought Caterham were finally doing the sensible thing with Kovalainen”, but then I noticed and remebered that Gonzalez is with Marussia now.

      I hope he brings a lot of useful money feedback to the team.

    3. “Pajarito Chavez” must be sending him blessings from heaven…

    4. Common sense dictates that they should put Gonzalez in Chilton’s seat, so as to give Bianchi as much track time as possible. But then, Chilton – like Gonzalez – is also paying the bills, so unfortuantely Bianchi has to sit one session out. Such is life.

      1. I’d put Bianchi in the car as well and send Chilton for a walk around the paddock, but I can somehow see the logic behind this. They probably think Chilton needs that extra time much more than Bianchi does, so they are trying to make the most out of the situation: get Gonzales’ bonus-appearance-cash and give Chilton the chance to put in some much needed track time.

      2. @prisoner-monkeys @tony031r Perhaps Gonzalez will be driving in Spain as well, which is where Marussia are bringing their next major upgrade, and they want to have Bianchi in the car then.

    5. This will be the first time two Venezuelan drivers appear together on an F1 track during an official session – Gonzalez joining Pastor Maldonado, of course.

      1. I think they will feel quite lonely. 2 Venezuelian drivers “on track at the same time.”
        All the other drivers and teams drinking tea and eating biscuits and thinking about things to do, to avoid “contact” on the track. :D

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        18th April 2013, 16:11

        That could only mean the country is full of oil.

    6. The guy must be loaded.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        18th April 2013, 16:12

        @oblong_cheese which exact meaning do you give to that sentence? :P

    7. Jules will be holding his breath for about an hour and a half on Friday morning. Hopefully Gonzalez will give him back the car in one piece.

      1. @tdog +1…Bianchi will know how HULK felt last year…

    8. So, they are putting the reserve drivers in, in order to check if the rebels would shoot them. Hmm, smart thinking. :)))

    9. I’m amazed they are getting Bianchi to sit out during FP for this guy; Bianchi is Marussia’s best bet for points this year, moving them up the table and getting them their £s.

    10. I just hope he feels a great deal of guilt ans shame when he gets into the car.

    11. I’m looking forward to see him an f1 car……said no f1 fan ever!

    12. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    13. Who??? First time I heard of him (yeah, I don’t follow GP2, but still…)

    14. Don’t want to hat someone I’ve never met but this guy is probably one of the worst drivers to take to an official tied session. In three years of GP2 he didn’t have one podium. He managed to buy himself a few young driver tests and now he’s got a test drive. Last year his team mate Van Der Garde scored 160 points, with two wins, Gonzalez scored 6 points, and people have a go at Geido for people “woeful” He’s on a different sphere of talent to Gonzalez! I need to complain about the amount of people talking about Bianchi like he isn’t a pay driver. He is, he’s also an excellent driver, but why would Marussia replace a non paying Razia with a non paying Bianchi. He has sponsors. God help Marussia if Bianchi leaves and they have a driver line up of Chilton and Gonzalez next year. Now THAT would be woeful.

      1. Chilton is picking his act up race by race. Actually, he is up there with VdG so even the gap between him and Gonzalez is quite massiv.

    15. Gonzalez? Oh God why…………

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