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Razia 'let down quite badly' by backers - Booth

ESPN Staff
March 2, 2013 « Tyre uncertainty helps rookies - Bottas | Surprise test convinces Valsecchi he is ready for F1 »
Luiz Razia lost his Marussia drive at the final test © Sutton Images
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Marussia team principal John Booth has said Luiz Razia was let down badly after his financial backers failed to fulfil certain contractual obligations.

Razia lost his Marussia race seat to Jules Bianchi on Friday, just one month after he was named as one of the team's drivers for 2013. In the official announcement Booth said Marussia "had no alternative" if it was to remain true to securing the team's long-term future and he told ESPN that he felt Razia had been let down by his backers.

"There were certain contract obligations that they weren't able to fulfil," Booth said. "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."

Despite Bianchi's links to Ferrari through its driver academy, Booth said the new signing had nothing to do with a possible engine deal for 2014 and said there was no further news on the team's engine supply beyond 2013. However, Booth was pleased with Bianchi's first morning in the car on Saturday and believes he will be up to speed quickly despite limited testing in the MR02 before the first race.

"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."