Marussia team boss John Booth says he feels that Luiz Razia has been 'let down badly' by his sponsors after the team was forced to terminate its deal with the Brazilian.
Confirmation came on Friday Marussia had signed Jules Bianchi
to replace Razia, with a statement issued by the team stating that it had 'no alternative' but to terminate its agreement with former GP2 runner after just a month.
Speaking to ESPN
as Bianchi hit the track for the first time in the MR02 on the third day of testing at Catalunya, Booth insisted that Razia wasn't to blame for the situation that had occurred and praised the Brazilian for the way in which he had handled the disappointment of seeing his F1 dream turn sour.
"There were certain contract obligations that they weren't able to fulfil," he said or Razia's sponsors. "I think Luiz had been let down quite badly.
"He's handled it extremely maturely from what I've seen and the guy's done a great job to handle it so well. But he's a mature guy and I wish him all the best for the future."
Bianchi was quickly up to speed when he hit the track on Saturday morning for the first of two days of running before the season opener in Australia, and Booth said he was sure the former Force India reserve would have no problems dealing with a lack of track-time in the car.
"It went very well actually," he said. "He must have been pretty nervous and he was late to bed last night by the time he had his seat fitting, so he did a great job. He's pretty much on top of it.
"I think he did nine FP1 sessions last year and he's done half a dozen test days in total in young driver tests as well as pre-season tests last year. He's ready for it that's for sure. I think by the time he's had an evening to study the data tonight he will be ready to go for it tomorrow."