Max Chilton has said he is happy with his F1 debut. The 21 year old British driver finished 17th at the Australian Grand Prix, a full lap behind his team-mate Jules Bianchi after a collision with the Caterham of Giedo van der Garde caused him into an early pitstop.
“It was great beforehand because all the crowd were cheering my name on the parade lap,” Chilton said. “I enjoyed that.
“Overall, I was happy with the job I did and the car, and I can now tick off the fact I have done an F1 race and brought the car home. That was the goal. It’s good to get the race under my belt, even if it was less than straightforward, and we now know where we stand relative to the competition.
“I hit the blue flag period (waved to back markers), and it was a bit of a battle to recover the ground I lost,’
“Obviously you don’t want to be messing up other people’s race, but there is a bit of an art to it and you learn when to go off line. It is one of those things you don’t know until you’ve done a race.”
Chilton has revealed that the team are confident ahead of the next race in Malaysia. Having managed to get on the podium in GP2 last season Chilton is looking forward to next weekend’s Malaysian race.
“We are confident,” Chilton continued. “Although the race had its frustrations, I feel like I’ve learned a lot I perhaps wouldn’t have learned otherwise and that will be useful experience over the next few races.
“I am looking forward to Malaysia now so I can roll all that back into my racing and be able to take the fight to the midfield pack.
“I was in Malaysia last year in GP2 and I managed to get on the podium, so I know the track in the wet and dry.”
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.
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?”
Luiz Razia, the 2012 GP2 runner-up, admitted he was surprised when on Tuesday Marussia announced Max Chilton as Timo Glock’s 2013 teammate.
The 23-year-old Brazilian told Globo he was a hot contender for the seat until the very last minute.
“We didn’t have much chance at Lotus,” Razia, referring to this week’s news of Romain Grosjean’s new contract, admitted.
“But we were caught by surprise by Marussia. We were talking to them until yesterday. They said ‘We’re still deciding’. There are still two vacancies, Force India and Caterham, and we’ve been talking. Yes we still have a chance,” said Razia.
Yet another possibility is that Marussia does not honour its existing contract with Timo Glock.
Indeed, Tuesday’s press release about Chilton made not a single reference to the German, and the recent official 2013 entry list said both of Marussia’s 2013 seats were ‘TBA’ (to be announced).
“Timo has a contract until 2014 and so the team would have to pay a penalty of termination. I don’t know if that’s interesting for the team,” said Razia, who admitted he has “sponsors” but not a “bottomless pit” of funding.
Marussia have finally confirmed that Max Chilton will be driving for the team in 2013.
Chilton’s drive has been rumoured in the paddock for weeks. The British driver will replace Frenchman Charles Pic who is headed for Caterham.
Caterham have confirmed that they have signed Charles Pic on a multi year contract for the 2013 season onwards.
“It is clear that he is a special talent,” said Caterham’s new team boss Cyril Abiteboul.
At present, it is unclear as to who will be partnering Pic at Caterham next season. Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov currently drive for the team however it is rumoured that Dutchman Giedo van der Garde will be given the drive.
Pic’s replacement at Marussia has yet to be confirmed however the F1 rumour mill strongly favours British driver Max Chilton.
Max Chilton is on the cusp of securing a deal to make his F1 debut next year.
The GP2 driver and Briton will on Friday drive Marussia’s 2012 car during initial practice in Abu Dhabi. Beyond that, he is tipped to move into the race seat for 2013.
The son of a high-ranking official for the insurance giant Aon, 21-year-old Chilton revealed on Thursday that his sponsors are now ready to fund his F1 debut.
“I’ve managed to get two sponsors together for next year to get the whole budget together, if the seat is available, which means as a family we don’t have to put a penny in,” he said.
Max Chilton, the well-backed British GP2 driver who is tipped to make his F1 debut in 2013, will drive Marussia’s 2012 car in first Friday practice ahead of next weekend’s Abu Dhabi grand prix.
The team recently promoted the 21-year-old to the role of reserve driver, and he is now expected to replace Frenchman Charles Pic in the race seat for next year. Marussia said Chilton’s Abu Dhabi outing will give him the “chance to demonstrate his potential in a competitive race weekend environment”.
He will drive the possibly Caterham-bound Pic’s car.
“We are looking forward to comparing his driving development with his growing maturity outside of the car,” said team boss John Booth.