Ex Force India reserve driver Jules Bianchi will race for Marussia this season following the team was forced to conclude Luiz Razia’s deal.
Marussia announced during the Jerez pre-season test, Razia’s name as this season race driver, he contribute with Marussia just two days of Jerez testing, following his fund delayed and team decided to terminate his contract.
“We’re pleased to announce that we’ve appointed Jules Bianchi to a race seat,” the team announced on Twitter. “This follows the termination of our contract with Luiz Razia.”
Jules Bianchi will test for Marussia on Saturday in Barcelona and said he was “thrilled” to be given the opportunity.
“I am thrilled to have secured a race seat with the Marussia F1 Team,” Bianchi said.
“Racing in Formula 1 this season has been my goal over the winter and after evaluating a number of options I am very excited to have this opportunity to demonstrate that I am ready for this next step in my racing career.
“I am also very grateful to the Ferrari Driver Academy that has always supported me and has given me the possibility to mature as a racing driver enabling me to be fully prepared for this new exciting challenge. The next two weeks of preparation for the season will be incredibly busy but I am ready to get started tomorrow with my first day in the MR02.”
Marussia team principal John Booth: “We are very pleased to welcome Jules Bianchi to the Marussia F1 Team,” he said. “Jules is a proven talent who is highly regarded within the Paddock. He has been on a clear trajectory towards Formula 1 and has achieved some impressive performances through the various feeder formulae, notably his 2012 season in Formula Renault 3.5 when he was also Reserve Driver for Force India. He is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and his obvious pedigree put him on the radar for a number of teams over the winter as a driver ready to step up to Formula 1.
“We have found ourselves in a situation where we have had to terminate our contract with Luiz Razia. Having made clear the basis on which we must operate in 2013, and given the steps we had taken to put that new structure in place, we had no alternative but to remain true to the principles which we had identified as being key to securing our long-term future. Booth added
“We can now focus on the remainder of the testing programme and preparing for what looks to be a promising season for our Team. Jules can now look forward to a very swift initiation into the Team over the course of the next two days here in Barcelona, when he is expected to run for one and a half days to afford both our drivers some dry running with the latest aero specification.”
Images © Marussia