Chilton back in Marussia for Belgian Grand Prix

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Max Chilton, Marussia, Hungaroring, 2014Marussia have reversed their decision to replace Max Chilton with Alexander Rossi for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

The team had announced yesterday Chilton was being replaced by their reserve driver due to “contractual issues”. Chilton refuted that claim, saying he had voluntarily stepped down to let the team raise money by selling the seat.

Rossi has participated in today’s first practice session for the team but will relinquish his seat to Chilton as of this afternoon.

Marussia issued the following statement: “Following a change in circumstances and with the approval of the stewards of the meeting, Max Chilton will be the nominated driver for the duration of the Belgian Grand Prix.”

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

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77 comments on Chilton back in Marussia for Belgian Grand Prix

  1. joew said on 22nd August 2014, 9:18

    He found a contractual £50k down the back of the sofa.

  2. PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:18

    Must have asked daddy for a bit more money.

    • This is what makes F1 look so pathetic. The whole business model has been broken for many years. Other sport consider talent. F1 is ONLY about money and that’s why the viewers and spectators are turning off. Get with it before it goes the way of Indy.

  3. Jarnooo (@jarnooo) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:21

    Dad transferred more money into his account.

    What a joke! Poor Rossi.

  4. Niyoko said on 22nd August 2014, 9:21

    Booooo. Make up your minds Marrusia. I had myself all geared up for a great weekend watching and following how Rossi would do. Now all I have no Kaumi, no Rossi, and a poor Ferrari car. Alonso is the only one worth watching now.

    • Yeah, I’m now hoping Bianchi lands that Ferrari seat ASAP so I no longer have to cheer Marussia ever again

      • Breno (@austus) said on 22nd August 2014, 11:24

        Yeah, hate on the team with the tiniest budget, owned by a bankrupt car manufacturer, based in a country facing thousands of economical sanctions.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd August 2014, 12:59

          based in a country facing thousands of economical sanctions

          They’re based in the UK. With the car manufacturer bankrupt, what connection do they still have with Russia besides the name and racing license?

          • Chris (@ukphillie) said on 22nd August 2014, 13:35

            It’s not hard to figure out that sanctions on Russian business might have an effect on Russian businessman. Doesn’t matter if they’re based in UK, Russia, or the moon. Money comes from the same place.

  5. caci99 said on 22nd August 2014, 9:21

    What is Marussia thinking? How pleased will their drivers feel with this back and forth games, you’re in, you’re out. And meanwhile some thousand miles are involved

    • Jarnooo (@jarnooo) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:28

      Well I don’t think Chilton is too bothered!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd August 2014, 11:57

      To me their thinking is pretty clear. They saw a 0 on the account – i.e. payment from Chiltons did not arrive in time – and went for their reserve. Guess now that an express transfer arrived, max is back in the car.

  6. disjunto (@disjunto) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:27

    Now we wait for Rossi to pony up a bit more cash to reclaim the seat

    • Chris (@ukphillie) said on 22nd August 2014, 13:37

      Rossi wasn’t paying.

      The team have just very publicly told Max Chilton they don’t value him at all as a driver, and if he’s got no money they’d rather give the seat to someone else for free than have him drive it.

  7. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:31

    Just lost a huge chunk of respect for Marussia. Poor Rossi….

    • JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 22nd August 2014, 16:00

      Don’t blame Marussia. This is obviously not what they want to happen. For some teams, financial stability is more important than choosing the more popular driver. Obviously the best financial solution changed over night.

      If there is anyone to blame, it is, as usual, those in the FIA and the strategy group who seem utterly incapable (or most likely unwilling) to come up with any sort of reasonable cost controls, or a fair means of distributing money within the sport. The fact that places usually reserved for the most elite racing drivers are being sold off, and that’s desperately wrong. But it’s the only way some teams can survive.

    • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 22nd August 2014, 17:24

      Rererve any lack of respect for the FIA not enforcing a budget cap when they are in a position to do so. Marussia are very well run, don’t forget they are still essentially a small Yorkshire team that stepped up to F1 from the junior formulae. Their budget this year is still a lot less than Jordan were running on in the mid and late 1990’s.

  8. VMaxMuffin (@vmaxmuffin) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:34

    My theory is that they’re still planning to put Rossi in for a single race, but for publicity (and merchandise sales?) they’ve decided they’re going to put him in at COTA.

    You heard it here first.

    • American F1 said on 22nd August 2014, 12:40

      Now that would be a good idea, marketing genius in fact. I am bummed for Rossi and all the American fans who were excited to see an American on the grid, myself included.

  9. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:37

    Exceptionally harsh on Rossi to announce he’s making his debut and then on the day, change your mind again….

  10. Sergio Perez (@sergio-perez) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:39

    This is a joke and a shame for Formula ! as the pinnacle of motorsport. This damages the “sport” aspect of it. If there was a credible alternative open wheel series to F1, with top teams and drivers, as well as innovative technologies and competition between teams in that sense, I would seriously look into it. I had a certain faith in formula E, but the 240KM/H top speed is a bit of a joke. The “single day everything” also seems lacklustre for fans.

    I’m a big fan of all the teams in F1, particularly those that have historical ties and made the sport what it is today- teams like Ferrari, Mclaren, Williams, Sauber, Renault (Lotus), etc. But this type of farce needs to be stopped. If we are to look for the best drivers in the World, more and more, we have to look elsewhere. Its still the best circuit based open wheel motorsport SHOW, in my opinion. However, as a Sport…

    I praise Ecclestone for making Formula1 the top motorsport show in the world. What I don’t understand is why teams still struggle and need to get pay drivers to be part of it. I also don’t understand the marketing amateurism of even the most prestigious teams, like Williams. They have the most appealing, commercial sounding partnership in the paddock and they could have capitalised with the merchandising soon, and what you get in their store, which only as late as Monaco packed merchandise, very few items. Most of the teams, excluding probably Ferrari, Mclaren and Redbul, do this successfully . Can’t they learn from the Premier league?

    • Sergio Perez (@sergio-perez) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:42

      “Most of the teams, excluding Ferrari, Mclaren and Redbull, do this poorly”, not “successfully”

    • Sam Andrew said on 22nd August 2014, 10:20

      Motor racing never has, and never will be a proper “sport” in the truest sense because performance is so dependant on equipment. People have to pay their own way at every level; there is no way into motorsport without some money behind you to start with. This “Farce” is just the reality of motor racing, it doesn’t spoil my enjoyment at all.

    • If IndyCar gets better commentators and telemetry, I’d say it’s almost on par with F1 (esp when the latter is having an off year). The on-screen telemetry is so rubbish though … watching qualifying is almost impossible as you don’t know how much faster a driver is going, and they use the reverse sign for the gap between cars (so the car behind is listed as -x seconds)… ugh.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd August 2014, 13:01

        I don’t see myself ever being as invested in a one-make series unfortunately, even if the engines are different.

        • SP (@jb001) said on 22nd August 2014, 13:44

          They’ll have chassis that are different in 2015.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd August 2014, 13:46

            That’s better. How many different chassis? Any produced by the teams who run them?

          • Do you mean they are finally allowing the different aero kits or are they really going to have more than one chassis maker? I hadn’t heard this, but I don’t follow Indycar since it became a spec series.

    • PeterG said on 22nd August 2014, 10:45

      This sort of thing is nothing new though, Throughout F1’s entire history you have had drivers in & out of teams during a season based on finances or some other reasons.

      Its not been as big a thing the past decade or so but before that it was commonplace to the point where the FIA put a limit on how many driver changes a team could through a season in the late 90s.

  11. David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:41

    Big money goes around the world…big money make no sound :)

  12. Mashiat (@mashiat) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:42

    Dear Marussia,

    I have $150 worth of sponsers. I’m sure if you let me drive for you in Spa, I’ll make that $200.


    • Dear Mashiat,

      Make that $210 and you have yourself a deal. That money would really boost our budget, perhaps by up to 50%.

      Come on over, sincerely

  13. Sergio Perez (@sergio-perez) said on 22nd August 2014, 9:42

    “Most of the teams, excluding Ferrari, Mclaren and Redbull, do this poorly”, not “successfully”

  14. Jeffrey Jung said on 22nd August 2014, 9:58

    What the….? This is rediculous.

    The only logical explanation I can come up with is Chillton couldnt pony up the money for his seat like his contract says he should. Then he did and his contract had to be respected.

    Not buying the voluntarily bs because if they had ‘sold’ their seat to Rossi that deal should have been respected contractually. It must have been a case of “max you suck and if you don’t pay there is no reason left for you to be in the car” He did pay eventually so he’s back in the car.
    This farce highlights how sad the state of things are at the back of the grid though

  15. Jakob said on 22nd August 2014, 10:25

    Personally (or perhaps just because I am not British and thus don’t read so much (negative) Chilton-coverage) I don’t really get the Chilton-hate. Yes, he is on average 0.6 seconds slower in qualifying, he usually finishes last and is in no way a spectacular driver. On the other hand in nearly two seasons he has only made one big mistake (Canada 2014) and usually brings the car home without causing trouble for the field. Do people dislike him because he is from a wealthy family? If I had the money my son would also be pushing towards F1 if he wanted to. So I can’t object to his Max’ dad doing that. Is it because he is “taking” a seat from a more talented guy? Well without his money, perhaps there wouldn’t be a drive at all! There have been far worse drivers in the sport during the years, IMHO – you only need to look at Ericsson and count the number of crashes. So by all means – go ahead and drive, Max!

    • salcrich said on 22nd August 2014, 12:47

      Jakob. At last a balanced comment about Chilton. As many have said this is not a unique situation the difference is that this time it has been played out in public, rather than behind the scenes. I say well done to Chilton and his team for securing whatever it takes to drive the car. Drivers like Kovalainen admitted that they couldn’t be bothered to chase cash and are no longer in the game. Whatever you think of him Max is still in F1 and driving a full race.

    • Lancer033 (@lancer033) said on 22nd August 2014, 12:48

      just like on the road, it’s easier not to wreck when you’re going slower.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd August 2014, 13:05

      Didn’t he take somebody out in Monaco last year without ruining his race?

    • PeterG said on 22nd August 2014, 15:02

      On the other hand in nearly two seasons he has only made one big mistake (Canada 2014) and usually brings the car home without causing trouble for the field.

      And the biggest reason for this is that he doesn’t ever race anybody.

      I’ve watched incar camera shots from him during races & he never races the cars around him, If someone is behind him & sticks there nose up the inside he’ll just jump out of the way without fighting them.
      If he’s behind someone he will never risk trying to overtake unless its a guaranteed DRS pass.

      Additionally in the races he’s miles of Bianchi’s pace, In qualifying it may be on average 6 tenths to 1 second but in the races its much larger again because he doesn’t race, he just sets into his pace & ignores everyone around him.

      Guys like Maldonado get criticized for making errors, causing contact & stuff but at least he’s having a go, At least he’s trying to pass guys & at least he’s racing on the limits trying to make up those spots & better his position.

      Fine Max gets the car to the end up all but 1 race, But as I say thats just because he isn’t racing, He isn’t pushing he’s just driving & getting to the end having done nothing through the race to actually look as if he’s trying to finish higher than last.

    • You make a lot of good points, but for me I’d always rather have talent in the seat over money. I get that they’re cash strapped, but Bianchi earned them a lot of money by scoring points. Plus, as an American I was pulling for Rossi to make it.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 23rd August 2014, 0:09

        But Rossi was even slower than Chilton.

        • Tyler (@tdog) said on 23rd August 2014, 1:22

          Rossi was even slower than Chilton

          @hohum, are you talking about absolute pace? Every car went significantly quicker in FP2 compared to FP1, as the track evolved and, most importantly, they used the options for the first time.

          If you are referring to relative pace, note that Rossi was 1.4s slower than Bianchi in FP1, and Chilton was 1.3s slower in FP2 compared to the Frenchman. I think that reflects pretty well on Rossi, given his very limited preparation compared to Chilton’s time in the car over this season. I’m pretty confident that with a couple of races under his belt, Rossi would be much quicker than Max.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 23rd August 2014, 4:23

            @tdog, possibly so but hardly a convincing demonstration of superiority over the highly disparaged pay driver supposedly keeping more talented drivers from a seat.

        • PeterG said on 23rd August 2014, 12:15

          But practice times don’t mean a great deal as you never know what program each driver is running.

          For all we know Rossi/Bianchi & later Chilton could have been running completely different programs making direct comparisons between there outright times totally irrelevant.

          As an example before Vettel suffered his technical problems he had been running a totally different aero setup to Ricciardo (Low drag rear wing Vs. high drag rear wing) so any comparison to there lap times would be useless.

  16. MattyPF1 (@mattypf1) said on 22nd August 2014, 10:45

    I made a comment on Marussia’s conformation of Rossi replacing Chilton for the Belgian GP about how I felt a little sorry for Chilton and how happy I was to see Rossi finally been given a chance to race a Formula Grand Prix, a chance that Caterham (foolishly) never done. Now, I just can’t that Chilton is ll of a sudden back in the car. I can’t begin to imagine the frustation and devastion going on with Rossi right now. He went into this weekend thinking his time has finally come after years of Caterham denial and now, it’s just Luiz Razia all over again. But the only difference is Razia’s replacement wasn’t announced less than 24 hours before Free Practice 1.

  17. Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 22nd August 2014, 10:47

    A lot of people slating Marussia for this, but to be fair Rossi is just their reserve driver, he’s only there for when one of their actual drivers can’t, won’t or isn’t allowed to drive. Obviously Max had some contractual issues going into this weekend but now they’ve been resolved the drive is his.

    I’m annoyed as well, because I also think that Chilton doesn’t deserve his seat, but the fact some teams in F1 are dependent on pay drivers is less Marussia’s fault than it is the governing bodies which run F1.

  18. Dion (@infinitygc) said on 22nd August 2014, 10:47

    So much for ‘voluntarily stepping out’, I guess.

  19. I wonder if Sky paid for his seat for this race. They wouldn’t know who else to interview for no reason at all after every session.

  20. Rigi (@rigi) said on 22nd August 2014, 12:00

    even if chilton came up with enough money, it was late. for a penalty and to make sure that doesn’t happen again they should’ve let rossi drive.

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