Rookie Razia added to Marussia team
Updated: Wednesday, 06 Feb 2013 08:08
Marussia will this season compete with an all-rookie line-up after finally concluding a deal with young Brazilian Luiz Razia.
Last season's GP2 Series runner-up Razia boasted on his website last Thursday he had signed for the Banbury-based team, only for the marque to insist no contract had yet been signed.
Even yesterday, on the opening day of pre-season and after unveiling their new car, the MR02, at the Circuito de Jerez, there was still no announcement.
But the team and Razia have now put pen to paper on a contract which sees the 23-year-old return to the fold as he was Marussia's reserve during their debut campaign of 2010.
And it will be straight down to business for Razia as he will today get behind the wheel of a car that has needed to be repaired overnight after team-mate Max Chilton was sent hurtling into the gravel yesterday following a failure on the rear suspension.
A naturally delighted Razia said: "It is fantastic to be back with Marussia and pretty much the same group of people I worked with back in 2010 when I was reserve.
"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.
"This coming season will be all about rewarding the faith the team have shown in me.
"This is an important year for the team in terms of maintaining the momentum from a very positive 2012 season, and I look forward to making a valuable contribution to that."
Appreciating he has a young and very inexperienced pairing on his hands, team principal John Booth said: "It is very pleasing to have not one but two graduates of our young driver programme driving for us in 2013.
"It is also very exciting since both Luiz and Max demonstrated a great deal of potential competing alongside each other in GP2 last season.
"When Luiz moved to GP2 in 2011 we had every expectation he would progress to the extent he has.
"He is a very quick and tenacious driver who battled hard to the runner-up spot last year.
"Together with Max we are fielding a young but incredibly ambitious pairing and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve."