Luiz Razia reckons Antonio Felix da Costa deserved the Toro Rosso race-seat more than Daniil Kvyat.
With Daniel Ricciardo promoted to Red Bull Racing for 2014 the race was on to replace the Australian at junior team Toro Rosso.
Da Costa was the hot favourite to take the seat only for STR to shock many when they announced that Russian teenager Kvyat had won the race.
And Razia believes it is a decision based on politics and money.
"I'm the devil's advocate because I am friends with Antonio and I think he was much stronger in pace," he told TotalRace.
"But we know that is not all. It is very clear that next year there is a race in Russia and F1 needs a Russian.
"It is a category with a lot of politics and he [Kvyat] is sponsored by a Russian bank which also helped.
"Toro Rosso has difficulties, like everyone else, so there was a situation where everything fell into place."
Razia, who briefly held a Marussia contract at the start of 2013 before a collapsed sponsorship deal cost him his ride, added that he believes da Costa had better momentum after the 2013 season.
"Kimi Raikkonen came straight from F-Renault while several riders come straight from F3. The strange thing is not the fact that he [Kvyat] comes from GP3 as drivers can demonstrate his talent in many categories.
"What I think is that there was a loss of momentum. Antonio Felix da Costa won a third of the races he competed in the World Series. The Arden team is good but he had some problems this season and even then he was third in the series."