Luiz Razia is adamant that F1 should not vilify pay drivers; just because they come with sponsorship that does not mean they don’t also have talent
As the global economy continues to struggle, several teams have turned to pay drivers to help supplement their income.
That, though, doesn’t mean those drivers are not talented as Pastor Maldonado, who comes with heavy financial backing from Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA, proved when he won this year’s Spanish Grand Prix with Williams.
But for the most part, pay drivers are often looked down on, especially by drivers who cannot retain their race-seats when someone with sponsorship comes knocking.
“This is something I’ve seen strong comments on now,” Razia, who tested with Toro Rosso in the Abu Dhabi Young Driver outing, told ESPNF1.
“Sometimes the drivers feel like they have been portrayed as the villains of the case, but that’s not true.
“We are here chasing dreams, and I am here chasing my dream which is to be in F1.
“I’m a very talented driver and I had results all throughout my career; I was F3 Champion, I was third in F3000 and I was vice Champion in GP2 with victories. I showed the results that I needed and I think that I have the talent.
“But now this is how it works, isn’t it?
“You have to have money backing you at the start of your career; obviously when you achieve success in Formula One probably you can get that back, but I’m quite comfortable with that.
“I’m pleased with my results and I think that I will be here because of a combination of the package.”
Razia, who was also in action earlier this season with Force India at the Silverstone test, revealed that he is “close” to doing a deal with a team for next year’s Championship.
“Seats are available, there are some decisions that need to be made from the teams,” he said.
“I have to say that we have done our job now, but if I was to say the team that I’m going with and am most close to doing a deal with then it will upset the team, so I prefer to not say whatever is happening.
“But I can say we have some good conversations and we are quite forward with some teams. We just need now to wait for them to say okay.”