One day after being ruled out of a seat at Force India, Jules Bianchi has landed a seat with Marussia with two testing days left until the 2013 season kicks off. Bianchi who had been reserve driver with Force India will take the race seat of Luiz Razia. A terrible and gut wrenching afternoon for Razia after his sponsor failed to deliver payment to the team. Bianchi will be set to test the Marussia over the final two days of the last preseason test.
While heartbreaking for Razia, this is actually not a terrible situation for Marussia at all. Bianchi is a very quick driver who has been working with a pretty good F1 team for the last couple of seasons. The Frenchman has insisted he is ready for the next step in his career and his testing times with Force India show he has plenty of pace. He has some cash that is actually there which will help Marussia through the season. I think this is a big positive for a team that has shown a lot of heart this offseason.
“I am thrilled to have secured a race seat with the Marussia F1 Team. 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.” – Jules Bianchi
As speculated by a few people now, this could put to bed some of the engine issues for Marussia in 2014. Cosworth has made it clear they do not have the resources to invest in the new engine package that requires a turbo V6. Perhaps by signing Jules Bianchi (who is backed by Ferrari) to the second race seat, the team may have a Ferrari turbo V6 in the back of their car next season. What started out as a real crisis has settled rather nicely in Marussia’s favor.