With Timo Glock and Marussia having parted ways by ‘mutual consent’ on Monday there has been talk about who looks set to replace him at the team.
With the team alluding to tough economic conditions being behind the decision to part with Glock it seems whoever replaces him must have plenty of sponsorship cash in their pocket.
But with Max Chilton their other driver for 2013, an unknown rookie, it may be unwise for Marussia to simply pick the person with the most money. Losing tenth in the constructors championship is most likely behind their financial trouble but sacrificing talent for money leaves them less likely to secure the results they need to finance the team.
One suggestion for Glock’s replacement is Vitaly Petrov. The Russian driver comes with a solid sponsorship package and after talks with his current team Caterham stalled he could be very much in the picture.
Taking Petrov would also prove to be a good decision. He is a good driver and does deserve to be in F1 despite many criticisms of him. An 11th place finish in Brazil this year helped secure Caterham 10th in the constructors championship suggesting that Petrov can produce results and may be the best solution for the team.
Despite Petrov’s name being mentioned his agent said that they are only in negotiations with Caterham at this moment in time.
Other names being suggested are Brazilian drivers Luiz Razia and Bruno Senna. Although the later is unlikely to bring money with him after it is rumoured that Senna’s sponsors will not continue if he only drives for a backmaker team.
Razia has links to the Marussia team having been their test driver in former guise Virgin Racing and later taking part in the Young Drivers test in 2010. Razia then joined the Lotus team (now Caterham) as test and reserve driver in 2011 taking part in some Free Practice sessions.
The Brazilian racer spent 2012 in the GP2 racing series finishing second in the championship and potentially has a real chance of securing the Marussia seat with some financial backing.
Both Petrov and Razia offer Marussia what they need- money and talent- but it seems that Razia has the best chance of a drive with the team.
The decision that Marussia make may be based on money but they should not sacrifice talent for this. Their ultimate goal is to secure a higher position in the constructors championship and therefore more funding but by taking money over talent they may find that this isn’t possible.