Max Chilton will be Marussia’s only representative on the grid in Sochi with the team opting not to run a second driver following Jules Bianchi’s accident.
Bianchi remains in a critical condition in the Mie General Medical Center after he suffered severe head trauma when he crashed into a recovery vehicle during the latter stages of the Japanese GP on Sunday.
Marussia announced on Thursday that Alexander Rossi’s name is on the FIA entry list for this weekend’s inaugural Russian Grand Prix, but said they would only make a decision before FP1 on whether or not he would race.
Rossi, unfortunately, will have to wait for his F1 debut as the team have decided that Chilton will be their only driver in honour of Bianchi.
A statement from the team read: “We will run a single car for the duration of the forthcoming Grand Prix weekend in Sochi, out of respect for our driver Jules Bianchi, who remains in hospital in Yokkaichi, Japan, in a critical but stable condition.
“We have written to the Stewards of the Meeting to inform them that we have withdrawn our second car.
“The Team feels strongly that fielding a single car, that of driver number 4, Max Chilton, is the appropriate course of action under the difficult circumstances of the weekend.”
It added: “Jules’ car crew have built a second car, which has been scrutineered and is ready to race, and this will remain on his side of the garage throughout the weekend.
“In support of Jules and his family, the Team and its cars will carry the familiar #JB17 graphic, to ensure that although Jules is not with us in Sochi this weekend, he is, nonetheless, racing on with the Marussia F1 Team.”
Chilton has expressed his heartbreak following his team-mate accident, saying:
“I don’t know how to put into words how truly devastated I am by what has happened to Jules.”