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Razia out, Bianchi in at Marussia

Mar 1, 2013, 1:10 PM EDT

Jules Bianchi AP

Just when you thought the driver shuffling for this year’s Formula 1 grid was done, it appears one more change is on the horizon. Autosport reported late Friday Jules Bianchi will replace Luiz Razia at Marussia this season.

“Jules is a proven talent who is highly regarded within the paddock,” said team boss John Booth, via Adam Cooper’s blog. “He is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and his obvious pedigree put him on the radar for a number of teams over the winter as a driver ready to step up to Formula 1.

“We have found ourselves in a situation where we have had to terminate our contract with Luiz Razia,” Booth added. “Having made clear the basis on which we must operate in 2013, and given the steps we had taken to put that new structure in place, we had no alternative but to remain true to the principles which we had identified as being key to securing our long-term future.”

Earlier this week, Force India confirmed Adrian Sutil alongside Paul di Resta to complete the 22-car grid. That left its 2012 third driver Bianchi, also in the frame for the seat, sidelined.

After a week of testing passed and Razia didn’t turn a wheel in the car, Autosport reported Marussia has terminated the Brazilian’s contract, and Bianchi will take over. Bianchi appears set to test for the team this weekend.

Marussia originally was slated to have Timo Glock and Max Chilton as drivers. Razia replaced Glock when the need arose to have a second driver bringing a substantial budget.

See also:

Razia’s Marussia future in doubt

Marussia enters season with big questions looming

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