Marussia confirm Chilton for 2014

2014 F1 season

Max Chilton, Graeme Lowdon, Marussia, 2014Max Chilton will continue to drive for Marussia in 2014, the team has confirmed.

Chilton’s name appeared on the entry list revealed by the FIA yesterday and the team has now officially announced Chilton will remain with them for a second year.

“You learn such a lot in your debut season, but the second year is when you can really pull all of those new experiences together and show your true potential,” said Chilton. “That has always been the case for me in the junior categories and I?ll be aiming for a similar step in my second year of F1 competition.”

Marussia will retain the same driver line-up as it had last year, following Jules Bianchi’s rehiring in October.

Team principal John Booth said: “In view of next year?s regulation changes, continuity is key, so it is highly beneficial to our technical team that we retain the same driver line-up moving forward.”

“Max had an impressive debut season last year and, of course, achieved a new rookie record for finishing all 19 races. He can be justifiably proud of the progress he made through the course of 2013. With our race driver line-up complete we can now focus all of our attentions on our 2014 car and moving the Marussia F1 team to the next level.”

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110 comments on Marussia confirm Chilton for 2014

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  1. andae23 (@andae23) said on 11th January 2014, 12:21

    It’s quite embarrassing that the news of Chilton staying at Marussia leaked via the FIA entry list. Shows that the deals are done long before a team confirms it.

  2. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 11th January 2014, 12:23

    Good to see Marussia giving their drivers a second year now.
    I think they’ve dropped some better drivers than Max in the past, but he’s better prepared for the 2014 F1 season than any of the GP2 field would be.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 11th January 2014, 13:34

      @bullfrog – What? Are you saying that Max will do a better job in 2014 than Sam Bird could? Or Fabio Leimer? Or James Calado? Or Felipe Nasr? Or Marcus Ericsson? Or…

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th January 2014, 14:14

        Yes, I think its fair to say that he will @william-brierty. Recent past has clearly shown that drivers stepping up (without massive testing available) take half a season just to get to grips with the car and everything, so even if a driver would be a lot faster they would lose the first 8-10 races in the development race, which last year showed to be crucial in the battle for 10th place, so I fully agree with what @bullfrog mentioned, continuity and giving Chilton the chance to develop further is the right way to go.
        And then with Marussia, its not as if they have a good chance to get that much further ahead anyhow even if they had 2 great drivers.

        • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 11th January 2014, 14:30

          @bascb I’m not that convinced, Bas. If Magnussen hadn’t got the McLaren seat, would he have been a better proposition at Marussia as a rookie, than Chilton as a sophomore? I think so. Okay, we’d be hard-pressed to find another Magnussen in junior formulae, but Calado comes close, and I do believe, would have been able to do better than a sophomore year for Chilton. Vandoorne too, possibly.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th January 2014, 22:08

            Sorry, but I think that is wishful thinking @wsrgo. Sure, for the fans it would have been lovely to see Magnussen in Marussia (if McLaren wouldn’t have taken him that is). And the same for several other drivers who would surely be a more exiting prospect for the future.

            But I would bet on Marussia not getting even close to midfield position next year (not a betting guy though), and all Magnussen would achieve would at best be 1-2 outstanding drives we would actually get to see and maybe an impressive record against Bianchi in qualifying. Not really a great step for his career, and Marussia isn’t helped by it either.
            Right now, they need someone who is familiar with the team to help them catch all technical issues they will have with the new car and brings the budget to fill up the gaps.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 11th January 2014, 16:18

          @bascb – I really disagree. With Young Driver Programmes, Young Driver Tests and simulators, it really shouldn’t take rookies long to get up to speed. That’s why we were quite quickly able to see that Perez and Di Resta had potential in 2011, even though both of them were not fully into the stride that they would demonstrate a year later. Hulkenberg started slowly in 2010 and 2012, but was clearly faster than his teammate by the end of each season, with both seasons culminating in incredible Brazilian performances.

          Kobayashi too, can be cited as another driver that quickly found his F1 groove as demonstrated by his wonderful performances at the later races of 2009, and on that basis I look forward to seeing how quickly he will readapt to a very new F1 at Caterham next year (his move is as good as confirmed). In short, although we may not see a driver’s full potential immediately it is almost always possible to judge whether a driver has a long term future in F1, and in Max’s case, I’ve seen no such demonstration.

          As @wsrgo says, McLaren chose a rookie in Magnussen sheerly on performances grounds, and in doing so passed over the opportunity to have Perez, Hulkenberg or Massa. OK, I agree that choosing a rookie, if an impressive rookie at that, over Nico “bridesmaid” Hulkenberg was always going to be one of the poorer decisions of 2013, but it certainly conveys a degree of confidence in the mechanisms used to bring young drivers up to speed.

          It’s not Marussia’s fault, they were clearly looking for another “pay driver” because of the delay in announcing him, but ultimately nobody had a dad as rich as Max’s. What should be happening now is the teams should be elbowing Pic, Van der Garde, Chilton, Gutierrez, Sutil and Vergne, who have all had their chance, and have failed to deliver, and be making way for Da Costa, Bird, Frijns, Leimer and Vandoorne, but no, all of these young talents will be in less illustrious paddocks next year (in fact Frijns will be lucky if he gets anywhere near a racing car at all), whilst Chilton and his dad festoon the F1 paddock loads of dollar marked sacks. I do believe I may have gone a touch overboard there, but you get my drift!

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th January 2014, 22:31

            lets have a look at that @william-brierty

            With Young Driver Programmes, Young Driver Tests and simulators, it really shouldn’t take rookies long to get up to speed

            Maybe it shouldn’t but look at the last rookies to enter – the step up from other single seater series is a very big one. Think back at how many Km a Vettel or Hamilton or a Kovalainen were able to make before they drove a race. No Simulator or whatever can really prepare one enough.

            That’s why we were quite quickly able to see that Perez and Di Resta had potential in 2011, even though both of them were not fully into the stride that they would demonstrate a year later.

            Hulkenberg drove quite a few km for Williams, DiResta had won DTM in a very good field of competitors, still it took them a while to get up to speed. What you are saying is no different than what I see. Yes, the good drivers show signs of what is there during their rookie year (Hulk, DiResta, Bottas, Perez, Ricciardo, Vergne … even Guttierez did show that spark last year) but none of them had a stunning rookie year.

            Hulkenberg started slowly in 2010 and 2012, but was clearly faster than his teammate by the end of each season, with both seasons culminating in incredible Brazilian performances.

            And that was exactly the point I was making. Even really good rookies take a while to get used to F1, which should make them shine in their 2nd year.

            But it will not be of much help for their team in the most difficult races next year, when the team is likely to still be struggling to get a grips on their car. Therefore, I can fully understand that next year they keep their line-up, knowing that they know their drivers well enough to help get glitches under control. And they still have one exciting driver in Bianchi, so IMO that is a very solid proposition for a backmarker team.

            McLaren did choose Magnussen, and I am very impressed with them for taking the risk. On the other hand, that is a team that can afford to take a gamble and they do know that they would risk losing him if they did not get him a drive in F1. Their first plan (getting him in at Force India or maybe Marussia) failed, so they had to risk either losing the guy they had invested years in or not giving Perez a second chance. But in JB they still have a solid driver they can rely on the get results if they build a good car.

            Yes, I do agree with you that it would be a better sport if 7 teams did not had to look for money first and for potential only in second spot.

            That said, I have to disagree on your assessment of VdGarde, Guttierez, and Vergne. The first 2 should get a second season to really show what they have got and I think Vergne is better than results show so far.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 13th January 2014, 11:55

            @bascb – It appears I have stumbled across a fellow F1 academic! Joking aside, seriously, great comment there.

            I just have a few issues with it. One of the key premises of my previous post is the ease and short time scale it takes to judge a young driver. Although Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Maldonado, Di Resta, Perez, Kobayashi, Bianchi and Bottas (I’m counting eight successful transitions to F1 since 2009 there – that certainly suggests that young drivers can make immediate impressions) weren’t at their ultimate form straight away in F1, by the end of all of their respected rookie seasons, it was relatively easy to see that each of them had a future in F1. After seeing a season with Gutierrez and Chilton, and two with Vergne and Pic, I have seen nothing to suggest that any of them have the required performance level to remain in F1 for anything other than financial motivations.

            Owing to the fact that Chilton racked up a lot of mileage in pre-season and in previous young driver tests, much like Gutierrez, I see no motive to offer either of them the courtesy of lenience on that basis. Neither does Vergne who received extensive Red Bull backed testing, if perhaps not to the level Hamilton or Kovalainen received, but in the case of all three, junior category performances warranted tests, and if that provides top drivers with an advantage over GP2 midfielders like Gutierrez, Chilton and Van der Garde (who, yes, I may be judging a tad prematurely – he may have some potential) then that is fine by me, because frankly talented drivers deserve preferential treatment of some form in this era of pay drivers. Vergne, a driver who was fabulous in the junior series, very fast in the tests he did and to some a champion in the waiting, has unquestionably failed to fufil his potential. Yes, he has had a extraordinary helping of bad luck, but even when the car is in the window and he is on form, the lap-time is always a tad disappointing. He appears to have a fundamental aversion to the way an F1 car handles in the dry at peak grip, and unless he finds his feet with the new cars in 2014, I would wager that he will be replaced by Da Costa before the season ends.

            Talking of young Red Bull drivers, Kvyat’s signing, whilst in my opinion a very poor decision in that it leaves a ready made F1 star in Da Costa high and dry for 2014, certainly serves as evidence as per the receding importance of mileage when signing young drivers. At the time of signing the contract, Kvyat had only done the Young Driver Test, and was rather underwhelming compared to Sainz, and had several spins. His signing, like teammate Vergne’s, was based sheerly on his junior category performances, and, in my opinion a rather knee-jerk reaction to Da Costa’s difficult FR3.5 season.

            In essence, there are too many fast kids out there for a “mediocre rookie” to be justified. If you are not good enough to make an impression in your first season, as Gutierrez and Chilton haven’t, then surely you aren’t good enough for F1? Doesn’t Pic and Vergne prove that a second season is no guarantee of progress? Why should we give additional chances to those that probably don’t have the potential, when there are drivers like Frijns who does have the potential, but will never receive a chance? Oh, right, it’s all to do with money…

            But what, surprisingly, isn’t to do with money, is the promotion of Kevin Magnussen. As I have said, Magnussen, who compared to some drivers, has not had overtly extensive F1 testing, is being promoted purely on performance grounds: the ultimate demonstration of confidence in young drivers. However, I personally think it was a terrible decision based on a naive assumption that features Magnussen on a list of drivers with Hamilton, Raikkonen and Hakkinen, and with Perez, who I thought easily did enough to retain his seat, on a less illustrious list with names like Michael Andretti and Kovalainen. The original decision to promote Perez was a knee-jerk at best, and twelve months later, when they have been given a second opportunity to have Hulkenberg in their car, they make another knee-jerk decision that was apparently based on an absurd vote from the engineers based on Magnussen’s testing data. Does this set a new precedent? Do McLaren need pages of data on a driver before they promote him? Well I think we can safely assume that they a) didn’t have any data on Hulkenberg, and b) if they did it would be rather more impressive than Kevin’s. And really, now much persuading would Force India have required anyway if Magnussen is as good as McLaren thinks he is? Do McLaren driver now have to come from the McLaren driver programme? Shortsightedness epitomized.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th January 2014, 19:24

            Seems we disagree on whether Guttierez and Vergne showed enough promise to warrant a further season @william-brierty, I guess we will see how they develop next season.

            I certainly think that the sport would be better off with higher quality drivers in the field than a Chilton, a Sutil. Massa I am not that thrilled to see continue, although maybe he does deserve a chance to show whether he can do some great driving in a midfield car.
            Funny enough, maybe Magnussen to McLaren does have to do with money (because of McLaren not offering Marussia and FI enough to take him on), taking on Perez and dumping him after a year does reflect badly on them, I will be curious to see how he holds up against Hulk at FI now.

            For Marussia, I think the money is crucial and having a driver they know can prove to be very important. Especially as they do not have the budget for exhaustive Simulator time (although maybe McLaren would let them run Magnussen in Woking) to iron out any problems with the car. I do think Chilton will be better than he was at the start of the season, but I would be surprised if he started snapping at Bianchi’s heels more than occasionally.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 14th January 2014, 15:48

            @bascb – I guess my main problem with Gutierrez and Vergne is that they’ve been given opportunities that better drivers, say Kobayashi or Di Grassi, weren’t given. I think we should see more of the kind of attitude that Red Bull showed when they ousted both Buemi and Algersuari, who frankly weren’t performing, and I think a tolerance of mediocrity should not happen in F1, or at least when there are other options (so for instance Sauber need Sutil because of his Medion sponsorship – he is not a special driver, as Sauber probably know, but they have no other options because of financial necessity). Because Gutierrez, Chilton, Massa and Sutil combine sponsorship and F1 experience, the teams are given no alternative, and that is the only reason they are all still in F1. However Pic and Vergne, would have now had two full seasons of utter anonymity, don’t bring much in the way of sponsorship. So why are they still here?

            Magnussen certainly brings no sponsorship, or at least as far as I know (I doubt that they will be a huge “Lurpak” decal on the MP4-29’s rear wing). However, yes, it is to do with money in that McLaren were not willing to subsidize Magnussen’s Force India move whilst they had a sheet of paper saying that Magnussen was quicker than Perez and a room full of engineers voting against a guy that had done as good a job they could have hoped for after they failed to sign Hulkenberg after Hamilton left. From what I heard, McLaren paid Force India to take Perez, probably because they felt duty bound to find him a seat after a perfectly respectable season from him.

            What you must bear in mind is that I don’t at all blame Marussia for keeping Max. Now that OGX, the company that sponsors Felipe Nasr, the driver I was convinced would take Max’s place, has filed for bankruptcy, Marussia had no other choice. Unless you want a Pietro Fatin, a Johnny Cecotto or a Sergio Canamasas, there are no more pay drivers left out there. Put simply, with Nasr ruled out, Marussia took the only remotely feasible option. However I do blame the FIA and CVC for distributing the massive profits F1 makes so selectively that we arrive at a situation where there are no pay drivers left in the junior categories. Max shouldn’t be in F1, but because of the selfishness of both the FIA and CVC we find ourselves with a diluted grid.

        • Breno (@austus) said on 11th January 2014, 20:16

          So, the guy who was soundingly beaten by another rookie (in Vet-Web or Alo-Mas scale), who drove a 2013 car, will be categorically better than any other young drivers in a car that is radically different to the previous one?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th January 2014, 22:36

            @austus why would Chilton be better? That has nothing to do with my comment.

            But he WILL be better than he was last year because by now he has some experience and knows the team and the team knows him. And for Marussia that could well be far more critical next year in the early months of the championship when they are likely to have all sorts of issues with the new car.
            Yes, Chilton wouldn’t be in the car if not for his fathers money. But his replacement would have had to bring the same budget, because otherwise the team just cannot afford to go racing.

        • Kimi4WDC said on 12th January 2014, 23:46

          There is no point, he plain and simple not good enough for F1. He should become a financial adviser or insurance broker like his dad.

      • Mashiat (@) said on 11th January 2014, 16:17

        Narain Karthikeyan? Y’know he does have experience with him but I daresay Chilton might (probably) be faster though.

        • It’ll be a good contest. We’ll have a battle for the lead and battle for last.

          • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 12th January 2014, 17:19

            At least Chilton is a good test driver, he gets mileage for the team and hasn’t broken too many brakes. But that the only positive from Chilton, that makes one more car on track for one more year …

  3. Another grid satellite.

  4. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 11th January 2014, 12:26

    I’m all for rookies getting a second chance but Chilton was just bad. Sure he finished every race which is a decent achievement but Bianchi will just run circles round him like he did last year.

    • Denis 68 said on 11th January 2014, 13:18

      He finished every race?

      He was just still running at the end of every race, He never actually completed a scheduled race distance. How can you measure Bianchi’s performances when he has Max (AON) Chilton as his team mate.

      It annoy’s me greatly when a driver of Chilton’s capabilities is in F1 and continues to get a race seat and a driver like Valsecchi who for three consecutive seaons in GP2 thumped Chilton does not even get an F1 race seat opportunity.

    • jre_f1 (@jre_f1) said on 11th January 2014, 14:46

      I think Chilton is a steady driver, a safe pair of hands but he’ll never win anything without he improves a lot.

      Bianchi is touted at being something pretty special for the future so it could be making Max look a little worse than it is.

      He ain’t terrible, but there’s better drivers not in Formula one. The finances of F1 dictate this is the way it is, rubbish.

  5. Roald (@roald) said on 11th January 2014, 12:31

    It’s not that hard to finish every race when you’re so far behind the rest of the field you’ve lost sight of them by the time you reach the first corner. Not much to crash into.

    • Mashiat (@) said on 11th January 2014, 16:19

      Yeah, and I think its pretty hard to crash a car which goes only up to 100 mph :p

      • Strontium (@strontium) said on 11th January 2014, 17:03

        Which leaves it down to the wheel nuts and reliability, which are both beyond the driver’s control.

        Sad to hear about this really, given that so many others deserve a shot in F1

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 11th January 2014, 17:24

      When overtaking with DRS open is considered to be hard, finishing one race, let alone 19 races is not going to be easy, isn’t it @roald?

      Jokes apart, Let us not forget he got his opportunities to crash into other cars when getting blue flagged. ;) Remember VDG’s crash into Webber when getting lapped? So Max can be considered a safe pair of hands. And given the expected decrease in reliability coupled with the fuel load restriction, who knows bringing the car home safely and slowly could fetch you invaluable points!

  6. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 11th January 2014, 12:31

    I know that pay drivers are a thing, and that they have always been used… But this is a joke.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th January 2014, 12:42

      If Chilton’s presence means that the team can retain Bianchi, then so be it. It’s a necessary evil, and while no-one is enthusiastic about pay drivers, there is no quick or easy solution to the problem they pose. For now, Max Chilton is probably the best driver for that seat.

      • Kimi4WDC said on 12th January 2014, 23:49

        I see the point. But this should not be the case, it just further degrades the standard. Similar to team lost their touch in working hard to get proper sponsors and opt for pay drivers.

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 11th January 2014, 17:26

      But isn’t it better than the Sauber line-up @philereid? ;)

      • PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 11th January 2014, 19:31

        @prisoner-monkeys A good point, in Fairness Bianchi is that good to counter-balance Chilton.

        @seahorse Bianchi makes it better indeed :P It wouldn’t have mattered who else was in the Marussia. But still, I’d rather have seen it go to another rich driver who had an ounce more talent that Chilton.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th January 2014, 2:25

        @seahorse – I suspect Sauber took on Sutil to act as a yardstick to measure Gutierrez against. Gutierrez did show flashes of potential late last year, and it was a cruel fate for him to be a bystander in the first-lap melee in Korea, robbing him of his best shot to perform.

        Sutil is also a fairly conservative, safe choice. If reliablity becomes an issue this year, I suspect he will be able to keep his head down and nurse the car home to a stronger position than it would normally be capable of if everyone else finished.

        • Enigma (@enigma) said on 12th January 2014, 10:31

          @prisoner-monkeys He was the best choice for them, regardless of Gutierrez. Other teams took the few better drivers. Of the remaining drivers, I think di Resta was the best choice, but Sutil isn’t much worse and also brings sponsorship. So in that respect, as average and unexciting a driver Sutil is, I doubt Sauber had a better option.

          • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 12th January 2014, 17:25

            @enigma add to that the value of experience for this year which is a must have (at least for one of your 2 drivers) and that leaves Sutil of going back to Rubens (or Nick Heidfeld, the driver you call when you are out of options). They probably made the best choice at the end even if it remains totally unappealing.

  7. Peter Cotterill (@stigrennfahrer) said on 11th January 2014, 12:39

    I agree that it’s kind of uninspiring, but at least Marussia is being kind of consistent in a way that a lot of smaller teams have failed to be over recent years. Keeping the same lineup may attract more investors, and may even lead to the advancement of the team.

    But yes, I agree that it would have been better to have someone other than Chilton.

  8. Niknod said on 11th January 2014, 12:41

    A completely unexceptional driver, with tons of money. And Marussia are proud to announce this? They should be embarrassed to announce this.

  9. NickF12013 (@nickf12013) said on 11th January 2014, 12:51

    Why not VDG? Or Pic? Or Kobayashi? Or a billionaire’s dog? I am sure the latter could bring much money to the team and probably drive faster than Chilton.

  10. Master firelee (@master-firelee) said on 11th January 2014, 12:55

    Marussia have also said that they plan to be at the first test.

  11. Chilton gets far, far too much criticism on this website. He’s driving a MARUSSIA, what else did you expect him to do other than be at the back. He’s bringing the car home safely, with minimal brain fade (except Monaco), and that’s all he needs to be doing IMO. Just because his team mate is highly regarded doesn’t mean he’s crap.

    In fact, the Chilton brothers get far too much criticism anyway.

  12. FlyingLobster27 said on 11th January 2014, 13:00

    That’s last place booked for the year then.

  13. Roald (@roald) said on 11th January 2014, 13:02

    If the cars are really going to be that much harder to drive, Chilton will probably equal the record of finishing all races last year by finishing none this time around.

  14. sam3110 (@sam3110) said on 11th January 2014, 13:03

    What number will he be running?

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