Luiz Razia has admitted Team Lotus’ failure to score a point in 2011 is the reason he is not making his grand prix debut at home in Brazil this weekend. Throughout 2011, it has been rumoured that Brazilian Razia, a 22-year-old team test driver, will replace either Jarno Trulli or Heikki Kovalainen for the entire Interlagos race weekend. Instead, Razia will simply be driving in Friday morning practice.
A report by Brazil’s Globo claims it is Team Lotus’ nervousness about losing the coveted tenth place in the constructors’ standings – worth millions in the provisions of the Concorde Agreement – that thwarted Razia’s debut.
Lotus has again been the strongest of the three teams vying for the lucrative tenth place in 2011, but like HRT and Virgin the team nonetheless failed to score a single point.
“I’m not racing just because of that,” claimed Razia. “Just because of an accident or something a team can end up finishing 12th. The tenth place is worth millions and I can’t take that from the team. They have to make decisions and unfortunately they can’t afford to lose the tenth place.
“Tony Fernandes has spoken openly about it. I paid the price for them having not scored points. For them it’s a lot of money.”
Razia, however, remains hopeful he could make his breakthrough next year.
“It’s not ruled out. Today, contracts can be easily broken,” he said. “As we have seen, Heidfeld went out in the middle of the season, and Ferrari fired Raikkonen, so I am not discounting any possibility for 2012.”