Eagle-eyed fans will have noticed that Marussia rookie Luiz Razia was absent from the cockpit during last week’s second pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The Brazilian has since admitted that a delay in payment from at least one of his sponsors contributed to this, sparking rumours that the GP2 runner-up’s position in the team could be in jeopardy.
Fellow rookie Max Chilton spent all four days behind the wheel of the MR02, with the team originally giving the reason that his participation over the four days’ running served to give the outfit more consistent feedback and analysis as it seeks to understand its new car.
That reasoning has not turned out to be completely true, with Razia now admitting that it is his sponsors defaulting on payments were to blame.
“In the contract, there are certain parties with responsibilities,” he told Brazil’s Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.
“We trust them, but there have been some conflicts. We will solve it. We only need a few days.”
The final pre-season test takes place at the end of this week at the Barcelona circuit, kicking off on February 28.