Jules Bianchi, Alexander Rossi, Max Chilton, Marussia, 2014

Marussia replace Chilton with Rossi for Belgian GP

2014 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jules Bianchi, Alexander Rossi, Max Chilton, Marussia, 2014Alexander Rossi will make his Formula One debut in this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix in place of Max Chilton.

Marussia say the change is being made due to “contractual issues” with Chilton.

Team principal John Booth said: “Although it was not our intention to offer Alexander the possibility to race this season, in light of the circumstances we are pleased to be providing him with the opportunity to make his Grand Prix debut at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Franchorchamps.”

“Naturally we hope to resume normal service with respect to our established race driver line-up as soon as possible, but for now we wish Alexander well for the weekend ahead and we look forward to seeing him in action.”

Rossi, who joined Marussia last month after leaving Caterham, said: “It goes without saying that I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to race in Formula One for the first time and I cannot thank the Marussia F1 Team for the faith they are demonstrating in me.”

“It’s a very big moment for me and there’s a lot to prepare in a short space of time, but on the other hand I have felt ready for this for quite a while now. It is also exciting to be given this opportunity at such a fantastic and historical circuit as Spa-Francorchamps. I can’t wait to drive the MR03 from tomorrow and I hope to reward the team with a solid race weekend.”

Rossi will be the first American driver to compete in a Formula One race since Scott Speed in the 2007 European Grand Prix.

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Image © Marussia

81 comments on “Marussia replace Chilton with Rossi for Belgian GP”

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  1. Oh no! Looks like the F1 comedy blogs are going to have to find someone else to make fun of this weekend.

    1. Inferring that Maldonado hasn’t always been target #1?

      1. Good point, but I was thinking of the pictures of Lewis Hamilton’s car on fire with a bunch of comments saying “still faster than Chilton”. That just never gets old…

  2. No offense to either driver coming in at Marussia or Caterham, but how long is before these teams are on Ebay posting an auction – “Want to drive in F1 next week? – minimum bid $200,000 and an FIA super license”….

  3. and for those of you that wonder, his FOM-graphic abbreviation is RSI (because ROS is used for rosberg obviously).

    1. I thought it might be ARO like the Schumacher brothers used their first names first letter.

      Anyway I think this might be the strongest lineup Marussia/Virgin/Manor ever had because Glock never had a really strong teammate. But maybe I overrate Rossi or even both of them.

      1. i quite like the RSI solution. the FOM abbreviations are something i always pay attention to for some reason.

        pic had a very good rookie season and was probably glocks strongest team mate. i don’t rate rossi too highly, he never really imressed me all that much in gp2. a lot like ericsson actually. a few podiums here and there but nothing that really shows us his full capability. but i’m sure rossi will be driving for haas in 2016. closest contender would be conor daly i guess, and he’s really not done much in gp2 yet (allthough it’s most likely his car that’s terrible)

    2. Hopefully they’ll get rid of the stupid arm-folding videos of each driver now they don’t have all of them. (Max is still doing it in the pic above)

  4. Soooooo happy for him! Congrats kid!

  5. Would be awesome to see how the “newbies” fare!

  6. !!!!!

    Holy crap, can’t tell you how excited I am to see an American driver actually race! I only started following F1 closely in 2009 so this is huge for me. Crossing my fingers he performs well.

  7. Both these driver changes are weird.

  8. What fun Spa is turning out to be! Musical chairs in the race seats.

  9. This will be very interesting weekend. :)

  10. Finally someone realizes how rubbish Chilton is.

  11. While I do feel for Max Chilton for all the issues unfolding around him and Marussia, I am happy that Marussia have followed the same path as Caterham. Unlike Caterham, Alexander Rossi is actually a driver who is signed to the team. And not only that, Rossi had far too many blown opportunities to race full time in F1 by Caterham and now I fear Robin Frijns is on that same path. All I can say to Robin is if Caterham take Lotterer, who’s had no relation or link to Caterham until now, then I have faded hopes for your future at that team.

    And also, Marussia didn’t just put Rossi in the car. They put Rossi in the car because Chilton is currently under money problems that has affected his race seat and if Max didn’t have that problem, I don’t think Marussia would’ve put Rossi in his seat. So, in all reality and in my opinion, Rossi made the perfect choice to move out of Caterham and into Marussia.

    If Rossi stayed at Caterham for 3 years and never got a race seat then left to join Marussia and earned a race seat about a month later, then I think we know how Marussia are more sensible then Caterham.

  12. Seriously, I don’t know what so good about Rossi. If I compare his racing statistic to his team mate at the current GP2 season, he is not better than any of his team mates. And he is now down below at #20 on the standings. Any insight?

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