Luiz Razia’s future in Formula One may be in doubt after the Brazilian driver missed another day of testing in Barcelona.
His sponsors have reportedly defaulted on their payments to Marussia, causing the team to suspend his testing programme until the situation is resolved. Therefore, Max Chilton has been given extra track time in preparation for the new season.
When asked about the situation a few days ago, Razia did not seem too disheartened by the turn of events, and was confident that it would be resolved.
“In the contract, there are parties with responsibilities. We trust them, but we have some conflicts. We will solve it. We just need a few days.”
However, following Adrian Sutil’s confirmation at Force India, Ferrari could be interested in securing their academy driver, Jules Bianchi, a seat with the Anglo-Russian team in 2013. The Italian marque may offer Marussia a similar deal to Force India, supplying engines to the team from 2014 onwards at a reduced rate relying Bianchi can secure a drive.
Marussia have had a strong pre-season, regularly outpacing closest rivals Caterham in the test sessions, but until Razia’s future is decided, the team’s preparation for the Australian Grand Prix will be hindered. Romain Grosjean made his distaste clear at having lost track time due to the weather in Barcelona today (28th Feb), and although Chilton will undoubtedly benefit from increased running, Razia may face an uphill struggle in Melbourne if these “conflicts” are resolved by the first practice session on March 15th.