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Luiz Razia to partner Max Chilton at Marussia
Marussia has confirmed Luiz Razia will complete its driver line-up this year alongside Max Chilton.
Razia was linked to Marussia last week after stories in Brazil said he had joined the team, but the GP2 runner-up was officially confirmed as a race driver on Wednesday morning. He will get straight down to work on Wednesday by testing the car, which suffered a suspected suspension problem on its first day of running with Chilton in the car.
Razia has F1 experience after working as a reserve driver with Marussia (then called Virgin) in its first year in 2010 and more recently with tests with Force India and Toro Rosso at last year's Young Driver Tests.
"It is fantastic to be back with the Marussia F1 Team and with pretty much the same group of people I worked with back in 2010 when I was reserve driver. Having been in that position, I know this team rewards determination and success in its young drivers, the intention of its programme being to school the next generation of racing driver. I am very proud to take the step up to a Formula One race seat, particularly with the team I began this journey with, since they helped show me what it takes to progress to the highest level.
"The past two seasons in GP2 have been all about proving that I have what it takes and that I'm ready. This coming season will be all about rewarding the faith the team have shown in me. I am looking forward to beginning that process in Jerez where we are testing the MR02 for the first time. I am also looking forward to the first race in Melbourne and I'm excited to be racing alongside Max, who I competed 'against' last season. This is an important year for the Marussia F1 Team in terms of maintaining the momentum from a very positive 2012 season. I look forward to making a valuable contribution to that."
Razia joins Marussia after Timo Glock agreed to end his contract early last month and team principal John Booth said he is glad to finally have a driver line-up in place.
"We are pleased to have concluded our driver line-up, which means that we can now focus all our attentions on what looks set to be a very promising 2013 season," he said. "Luiz isn't new to our team of course, having been reserve driver in our debut season in 2010 and part of our young driver programme. It is therefore very pleasing to have not one but two graduates of that programme driving for us in 2013, and also very exciting, since both Luiz and Max demonstrated a great deal of potential competing alongside each other in GP2 last season.
"When Luiz moved to GP2 in 2011, we had every expectation that he would progress to the extent that he has. He is a very quick and tenacious driver who battled hard to the runner-up spot last year. Together with Max, we are fielding a young but incredibly ambitious pairing and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve."
The only remaining unconfirmed seat on the grid is now at Force India.