Marussia yet to agree TV coverage deal for 2013

It is possible Marussia will be notably missing from next weekend’s coverage of the 2013 season opener. That is because Bernie Ecclestone is yet to agree a new Concorde Agreement with the backmarker team.

The F1 chief executive said recently that he has agreed bilateral financial deals with every team, Marussia included. But, apparently, that deal does not include provisions for images of the Marussia car and driver to be broadcast on television.

Asked by ESPN whether it is a crucial missing element for Marussia just a week before opening practice in Australia, team boss John Booth answered: “No.

“It’s vital for Bernie because he won’t be able to film us without it.”

A team spokesperson confirmed that talks are now taking place.

“Nothing is signed yet,” agreed Booth, “but it’s getting pretty close now.”

Source:GMM

Razia: Contract ‘conflicts’ cause of Marussia test snub

Luiz Razia has confirmed that off-track “conflicts” caused him to sit out last week’s Barcelona test.

Despite intending to run its new Brazilian driver for two days in Spain, Marussia left Briton Max Chilton in the 2013 car for the entire test week, explaining only that it benefitted from the “consistency” of the amended schedule.

Rumours suggested 23-year-old Razia’s sponsors had missed a payment date.

“In the contract,” the driver told Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, “there are parties with responsibilities. We trust them, but we have some conflicts,” Razia explained.

Asked if the “conflicts” were the reason he sat out Barcelona last week, he admitted: “Exactly.

“We did the right things, it’s just that it’s out of our control. We will solve it. We just need a few days.”

Razia suggested Marussia’s official explanation for the change of scheduling last week – that the team simply wanted Chilton to drive the whole test – was incorrect.

“I would not sign a contract with such a disadvantage,” he insisted.

Folha de S.Paulo said a Marussia spokesperson did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Source:GMM

Marussia ‘ahead of Caterham’ – Chilton

Marussia looks set to begin the 2013 season with the upper hand over its usual rival Caterham.

Since F1’s youngest teams entered the sport in 2010, Caterham has always finished the constructors’ world championship with the lucrative tenth place. That could change this year.

“It’s good that we find ourselves ahead of Caterham again,” Max Chilton, who drove Marussia’s new car on all four days at Jerez last week, said as the test ended.

Ted Kravitz, the pit reporter for British broadcaster Sky, agreed that Caterham’s 2013 single seater “doesn’t seem to be too good”.

He expects Marussia to have the upper hand at the initial four-race ‘flyaway’ races in Australia, Malaysia, China and Bahrain.

“I think we should only judge them (Caterham) when they put the upgrade package on for the first European race in Barcelona,” Kravitz said on Sky Sports F1 HD television.

Source:GMM

Marussia to stay in F1 with new Concorde – Ecclestone

No more teams are set to follow HRT through F1’s paddock exit, Bernie Ecclestone insists.

There has been speculation the economic situation in the sport and the wider world could claim more scalps, with Marussia at the top of the list, having reportedly failed to negotiate a new Concorde Agreement with F1’s ‘supremo’.

But after a meeting with team bosses last Thursday, chief executive Ecclestone now tells F1 business journalist Christian Sylt: “They are all safe.

“We have got a deal with them all, including Marussia,” he is quoted by Autoweek.

“We are continuing with Marussia. I thought they were going to go but they are not.”

Marussia’s sporting director Graeme Lowdon confirmed that “discussions” about a final agreement with Ecclestone are taking place now.

Ecclestone said F1’s teams should be happy with the terms.

“They’ve all got more money than god,” he quipped.

Source:GMM

Chilton was ‘looking forward’ to being Glock’s teammate

Rookie Max Chilton has admitted he would prefer to have Timo Glock as his teammate in 2013.

Actually, Marussia dispensed with German Glock’s experienced services in favour of a ‘pay driver’ — another rookie in the form of Brazilian Luiz Razia.

“It is not ideal,” Briton Chilton is quoted by Germany’s motorsport-total.com. “I had been looking forward to being Timo’s teammate, because of his vast experience.”

Chilton, 21, acknowledged however that he is sure the team will not encounter any serious “problems” as the result of its all-new driver lineup.

“Unless we were all capable, we would not be in Formula One,” he insisted.

In fact, he thinks that – in some ways – it could be an advantage for both himself and Razia, who is 23.

“Neither of us are number one or number two, so the team will treat us the same,” said Chilton.

The British broadcaster Sky quoted McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh as saying it’s “sad” there are so many pay-drivers in F1 now who are arguably “fundamentally not good enough” to be on the grid. But his Sauber counterpart Monisha Kaltenborn, who is arguing strongly for cost-cutting action in F1, said labelling young drivers like that is not fair.

“There has always been fluctuation on the grid and nobody was harping on about pay drivers,” she told the sport’s official website. “Everybody who comes into Formula One is on a high level and if there are only a limited number of seats, then of course every team is looking for the best option. Who wouldn’t?”

Source:GMM

Symonds: Glock went because Marussia needs ‘every million’

Marussia parted with Timo Glock because a backmarker team needs every million. That is the claim of Pat Symonds, the former Renault ‘crash-gate’ conspirator who – after serving his F1 ban – is now openly in charge of the 2013 Marussia MR02.

Devoid of many sponsors, the new red and black car will be raced this year by wealthy Max Chilton and Luiz Razia, who replaced German Glock at the last minute.

“For Red Bull, one million has little effect,” Symonds is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. “For us it’s different.”

Marussia has openly admitted it ousted the salaried Glock because it needed a driver to bring significant sponsorship.

“I have to take my hat off to Timo,” said Symonds, referring to the 30-year-old who has switched to DTM with BMW. “He understood our situation and told us that if his leaving can help 100 jobs, then he will make room for another driver.”

Still, Symonds regrets that Glock had to go.

“He is an excellent driver; with his experience and feedback he helped a lot with the development of the car,” he said. “And he was excellent in difficult conditions. On a dry track, he was three to five tenths in front of (Charles) Pic (in 2012). But in difficult conditions, such as the last race in Brazil, it was one and a half seconds.”

Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren boss who this week admitted he tried and failed to help former team driver Heikki Kovalainen stay in F1, said the current ‘pay driver’ situation is “a shame” for F1.

“It is exciting for those guys who can afford it,” he is quoted by the Dutch magazine Formule1, “but in my opinion this is the top of motor sport.

“For some teams it’s difficult to survive, that’s for sure,” he acknowledged.

Source:GMM

Marussia confirms Razia for 2013

Marussia on Wednesday finally confirmed reports Luiz Razia has completed the team’s 2013 race driver lineup.

The 23-year-old Brazilian, runner-up in last year’s GP2 championship, will mark the news by testing Marussia’s newly-launched MR02 car at Jerez on Wednesday.

The 2013 vacancy, now filled by Razia, opened up recently when Marussia split with Timo Glock, citing the need for a sponsored driver.

“Together with Max (Chilton), we are fielding a young but incredibly ambitious pairing and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve,” said team boss John Booth.

When it was called Virgin, Razia was the team’s reserve driver in 2010.

Source:GMM

Symonds hopes Marussia takes on Caterham in 2013

Pat Symonds is confident Marussia can finally compete head-to-head with Caterham in 2013.

Since F1’s small new teams arrived in 2010, Caterham has been consistently the best, finishing the lucrative tenth spot in the championship at every attempt.

Former Renault technical chief Symonds, however – who is now back in F1 full-time after the 2009 ‘crashgate’ scandal – is confident he is presiding over a competitive project for the coming season.

“We hope to do a respectable job this year,” he told Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper correspondent Livio Oricchio.

“Even without KERS, we beat Caterham on several occasions in 2012 and now for the first time we have a long development programme planned.

“We have also designed our car completely in the wind tunnel for the first time,” Symonds insisted.

“We have KERS now, so it’s a realistic goal to stay ahead of them (Caterham) this year.”

Racing one of Marussia’s 2013 cars – to be unveiled at Jerez on Tuesday – will be Briton Max Chilton, while reports say the other cockpit has been secured by Brazilian Luiz Razia.

Team official Graeme Lowdon told Oricchio that 23-year-old rookie Razia has not been signed, but another voice from inside Marussia on Monday said the Brazilian was due to arrive at Jerez in the evening.

Symonds is hoping the MR02 is born well.

“Our pilots are completely inexperienced, so if many changes are needed,” he said, “it will be a problem.

“If it’s born well, everything will be easier for everyone.”

Source:GMM

Marussia admits money reason for Glock exit

Marussia on Monday admitted the need for money is behind the decision to part with the team’s long-time lead driver Timo Glock.

It is believed German Glock, 30, was being paid about EUR 3 million per season. Reportedly yet to agree a new Concorde Agreement deal with Bernie Ecclestone, and narrowly missing out on the lucrative tenth place in the 2012 constructors’ championship, Marussia will almost certainly now replace Glock with a ‘pay driver’.

“The ongoing challenges facing the industry mean that we have had to take steps to secure our long term future,” team boss John Booth said in a media statement. “Tough economic conditions prevail and the commercial landscape is difficult for everyone, formula one teams included.”

Booth praised Glock’s contribution and talent and also the fact that he is leaving despite having a “valid contract”.

It is rumoured his next move will be to BMW’s DTM team, even though there are suggestions he could become Paul di Resta’s teammate at Force India.

Booth said Glock’s replacement at Marussia will be revealed “in due course”.

Glock is quoted as saying: “I would like to wish the team good luck in navigating this next period and thank everyone for the great times we shared and the support I have received.

“Although it is not the path I expected to be taking, I am in fact very excited about what the future holds in terms of my own career and I hope to comment on that very soon.”

Source:GMM

Glock to leave Marussia for DTM?

Timo Glock looks set to leave Marussia – and probably F1 too.

After leaving Toyota in the wake of the Japanese giant’s F1 exit, the now 30-year-old German has been Marussia’s lead driver since the former Virgin team’s 2010 inception. Sport Bild, a German publication, reports that Glock and Marussia have now agreed to split, despite the existence of a contract for 2013 and 2014.

The report said the news will be made official on Monday, with Glock to be quoted as saying: “I have had three great years with the team. We depart amicably.

“Now I want to meet new challenges and continue my path in motor sport.”

The reason for Glock’s split is almost certainly financial, with the well-funded British rookie Max Chilton already signed up to drive one of the cars in 2013. Marussia is yet to comment.

But the mass-circulation Bild newspaper said Marussia “desperately needs money”, meaning Glock’s cockpit “must be sold to a pay-driver”. That report said the replacement for Glock, who earned about EUR 2 million per season, will have to pay “at least five million” to be Chilton’s new teammate.

Britain’s Telegraph newspaper mentioned Vitaly Petrov or Sebastien Buemi as potential candidates. And Belgium’s RTL named Jerome d’Ambrosio, the Eric Boullier-managed 2012 Lotus reserve who in 2011 was Glock’s teammate at Virgin, as a possibility.

Swiss newspaper Blick wrote: “The biggest mystery is what Glock will do now? Is he suddenly on Force India’s list?”

Auto Motor und Sport said he is in the running to race for BMW in Germany’s premier touring car championship DTM in 2013.

BMW-contracted driver Dirk Muller said to Glock on Twitter late on Sunday: “Many congrats and welcome in the club”.

Glock responded: “Ppssss … danke”.

Source:GMM