Pay drivers not 'villains' - RaziaChris Medland November 7, 2012 « Eco changes stalled by engine manufacturers | Mortara not getting carried away after F1 test »
- Luiz Razia
Luiz Razia believes it's unfair to label drivers as "villains" for bringing sponsorship to get in to Formula One.
Many teams now need their drivers to bring significant funds in the form of sponsors, with Pastor Maldonado and PDVSA at Williams the most high-profile example. Having driven for Toro Rosso on the opening day of the Young Driver Test, GP2 runner-up Razia admitted that he has funds behind him to help secure a seat but feels a drivers' natural talent is overlooked if they bring money.
"This is something I've seen strong comments on now," Razia told ESPN exclusively. "Sometimes the drivers feel like they have been portrayed as the villains of the case, but that's not true. We are here chasing dreams, and I am here chasing my dream which is to be in F1. I'm a very talented driver and I had results all throughout my career; I was F3 champion, I was third in F3000 and I was vice champion in GP2 with victories. I showed the results that I needed and I think that I have the talent.
"But now this is how it works, isn't it? You have to have money backing you at the start of your career; obviously when you achieve success in Formula One probably you can get that back, but I'm quite comfortable with that. I'm pleased with my results and I think that I will be here because of a combination of the package."
Razia wouldn't be drawn, however, on where his future lies but did admit he's close to agreeing a deal with one team.
"Seats are available, there are some decisions that need to be made from the teams. I have to say that we have done our job now, but if I was to say the team that I'm going with and am most close to doing a deal with then it will upset the team, so I prefer to not say whatever is happening. But I can say we have some good conversations and we are quite forward with some teams. We just need now to wait for them to say OK."
Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1