29 April 2013
Razia, Force India discuss F1 role
Luiz Razia claims to have been in talks with Force India over a possible reserve role for 2013 and beyond.
F1 may not have seen the last Luiz Razia, despite the Brazilian having been humiliated when promised sponsorship failed to materialise in time to secure a race drive with Marussia this season.
Razia appeared poised to realise his F1 dream when Marussia announced him as its replacement for veteran Timo Glock, the German having agreed to leave by mutual consent in an effort to help the team save money. Having finished as runner-up to Davide Valsecchi in the 2012 GP2 Series, Razia was well thought of in the top flight, but still required financial backing to anchor him in the second seat alongside fellow rookie Max Chilton – who, interesting, he claims entered F1 at least a year too early for his experience.
Having opted for Marussia over a similar option at Caterham, however, the Brazilian managed just a handful of laps in pre-season testing, however, before being replaced by former Force India reserve Jules Bianchi, the promised funds having never come through to the team.
Now, although he has landed an opportunity to race sportscars in the FIA GT Open series, Razia still hankers after F1, and revealed at the weekend that he was in negotiation with Force India about a possible development role that could see him running on Friday mornings at grands prix, in much the same way as Bianchi before him.
"The possibility is there,” he confirmed in an interview with Radio Jovem Pan, “Force India is very interested in doing this project but, unsurprisingly, I also need sponsorship.”
Razia, who tested with Force India in Abu Dhabi late last year, also revealed that the two parties were discussing a programme that would not just him appear once of twice during 2013.
"They do not want to do something poorly,” he insisted, “They want to do something that will last at least two years, but I need to get sponsorship. It is disappointing to have to depend on it so much to do this job, but that's how the band is playing at the moment.”
While he harbours no ill-feeling towards Marussia, Razia admits that teams are going to be more wary of offering him a contract without knowing that the money to pay for it is really there.
"I don't think that what happened with Marussia has hurt me,” he insisted, “Teams always ask for credit, and always try to have as much security in what they are going to do. Marussia knew what I could do in the car and, even without much security, closed a contract, but I believe that Force India is going to want something much more concrete to go forward."
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