MARCH 4, 2013
Sponsor the cause of Razia losing F1 seat
Luiz Razia insists he is not losing any sleep, despite coming tantalisingly close to realising his dream of racing in formula one this year.
In fact, he was even the subject of a Marussia media announcement and began testing his 2013 car recently in Spain, only to be let down by a crucial sponsor.
"I will sleep tonight, knowing that the failure was circumstantial," the 23-year-old Brazilian told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.
Elsewhere, Razia even sported a smile and a humorous sense of irony, wearing a t-shirt bearing the words 'Dream Killer' for an interview with Brazil's Globo.
"Two individuals who have a company signed a contract with Marussia," he explained. "They paid the first instalment, then they had problems."
Brazilian correspondent Livio Oricchio estimated the missing payment at EUR 6 million.
"It's been hard for me, of course," Razia admitted. "I need to regroup. But I have faith and sometimes these things happen for us to grow spiritually.
"Right now I am returning home to Milton Keynes to think about what to do with my life."
Returning to his brush with F1 racing stardom, Razia continued: "It was bad luck, not because of a lack of commitment or professionalism on my park.
"I did as much as anyone could do."
He said he is sure Jules Bianchi, his Ferrari-linked replacement at Marussia, is also well sponsored.
"It would be funny if someone didn't think that," insisted Razia. "If that wasn't part of it, I'd be sitting in the car now."
For Marussia at least, there could be a silver - or scarlet - lining.
Frenchman Bianchi is highly rated but he is also crucially backed by Ferrari's driver development 'academy', at a time when the currently Cosworth-powered Marussia is openly on the hunt for a supplier of V6s for 2014.
Oricchio said: "Do not be surprised if in 2014 Marussia is competing with a Ferrari engine and transmission."
There may also be an engine link in Adrian Sutil's return to F1 with Force India.
Oricchio said: "I have learned that Sutil has a longstanding relationship with Toto Wolff, now a partner and head of the Mercedes team.
"It could explain why Vijay Mallya decided on Sutil and not Bianchi."