Chilton to make F1 debut for Marussia in 2013

2013 F1 season

Max Chilton, Marussia, 2012Max Chilton will make his Formula One race debut for Marussia in 2013, the team has confirmed.

Chilton will partner Timo Glock next year, taking the place of Charles Pic who has moved to Caterham.

“It?s hard to put into words how I?m feeling today,” said Chilton.

“I am very fortunate to have spent the last six races with the Marussia F1 Team as reserve driver, which means that instead of a standing start, I am already up to speed and at ease with the people, the culture, the systems and of course, the 2012 package.

“During the period since the Japanese Grand Prix, I have watched at very close quarters the incredible commitment and determination to succeed that saw everyone in the team pushing until the very last race. I feel very lucky to be able to embark on my F1 racing career with this group of people.”

“Pre-season testing is just a few weeks away, so my focus now is to continue my physical preparation whilst spending as much time as possible working with the technical team to help develop the car I will drive in my debut F1 season.”

Chilton, 21, drove for the team during the first practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this year, as well as at the Young Drivers’ Test sessions.

He spent the last three seasons in GP2, finishing fourth in this year’s championship with two wins for Carlin. He is the younger brother of World Touring Car Championship driver Tom Chilton.

Marussia team principal John Booth said: “We have spent a significant amount of time evaluating his performances during 2012, both in our own car in a testing situation and also from the pit wall as we monitored his progress alongside the other members of our junior talent pool during Grand Prix support races.

“We felt confident enough in his ability and potential to appoint him to the role of reserve driver in September and since that time his development has been rapid in all aspects. First and foremost, he has shown himself to be extremely capable in the car.

“Most recently, in Abu Dhabi, he was put to the test in a competitive environment which included providing him with an opportunity to demonstrate his outright pace and consistency over a single lap. We saw just how much he has progressed even since the Silverstone test in the summer and through the succession of GP2 races thereafter, when he achieved two pole positions and two race wins.

“Not only that, Max very quickly embedded himself within the team, thanks in no small part to the fact that he is a lively and affable character who we?ve enjoyed having around. Having been integral to our race weekend engineering environment for the past three months already – as well as having undertaken a significant part of our simulator programme – Max has already found his feet.”

Chilton is the third rookie driver to be confirmed for 2013, joining Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.

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47 comments on Chilton to make F1 debut for Marussia in 2013

  1. racer1192 said on 18th December 2012, 15:12

    Another driver who will see his career flame out by 23. Decades of sportscar racing await him. To get washed out of a lower tier team at this young age helps no one. What a waste of money. There is nothing wrong with sportscar racing, but maybe we should groom these guys a little more before we throw them on the pyre.

    • david d.m. said on 18th December 2012, 16:25

      If he is really good he will stand out, no matter what team he is in, yes his chances don’t look very good in Marussia to stay more than one season, but look at Pic he will be in F1 next year so everything can happen.

      • racer1192 said on 18th December 2012, 16:50

        Very true. Some do stay around. I guess I just look at it from an old guy’s perspective. Maybe if they learn a bit more, then they can stay around longer. I am getting tired of seeing guys come up and get spit out, but so it has always been, and so it will always be. At the least, we should be getting a decent coherent junior formula ladder going again. They complain about cost all of the time, but how many are in line to take their money on the way up?

  2. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 18th December 2012, 17:05

    I love how people moan about him being a pay driver and say things like “nice present from daddy” etc as though they’d be able to get anywhere near F1 if they had the money!

    You have to be very highly skilled to make it to F1 with or without money. There are perhaps some who aren’t as good as others but get the chance because they bring sponsors with them but when you have a team like Marussia on the grid who are working with very little money and very few sponsors, they need to being in a driver like Chilton.

  3. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 18th December 2012, 19:00

    But Will Marussia start the season?

    • Bosley (@bosley) said on 18th December 2012, 19:03

      According to Bernie everyone’s signed up for next year, the only team i know that might have been a bit hesitant was Mercedes but considering they have Hamilton on board, i don’t see them pulling out.

  4. Brace (@brace) said on 18th December 2012, 22:08

    Not really important, but at the first moment, when I saw the pic, before I saw title, I thought this is an article about some woman who got a drive in F1.

  5. Abdurahman (@) said on 19th December 2012, 7:31

    I got to see Chilton tooling around at the back of a WTCC race in Sonoma this year. Not sure if it was car troubles, I hope so.

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