MAX CHILTON… F1 DRIVER
It must sound great when he hears that. So we’ll say it again, Max Chilton – F1 driver!
Please join the Wheels of Squeal team in putting your paws together to congratulate Max on securing his seat with the Marussia F1 team for the 2013 season. It’s just reward for a young driver who has swiftly made his way through the ranks and shown more than promise at every level – there have been plenty of tasty results too.
What strikes you with Max, when you look into his short driving career, is his highly ambitious nature. He’s got that hunger to test himself at every level as soon as he possibly can, highlighted I guess by making his F1 debut at 21. (That’s younger than Michael Schumacher even.)
Racing through the ranks (pun fully intended) in karting, T Cars and Formula Three, Max started to show his true potential when he began racing GP2 in 2009 for the Bawa Team (GP2 Asia Series). He then moved to Ocean Racing Technology in 2010, and Carlin in 2011. But it was this GP2 season with Carlin, now backed by Marussia, when Max’s results reflected his true driving ability.
He started season 2012 with his first podium in GP2 (3rd place at Sepang) and was consistently in the top 10 in the opening half of the season. No mean feat. Max had to be patient though, waiting until the 13th round in Hungary to win his first GP2 race (from pole no less), edging out eventual GP2 Champion Davide Valsecch. Max followed that win with another in the final round of the year in Singapore and being the top points scorer through the second half of the season, eventually finishing 4th in the standings with 169 points.
All of this, along with being the test and reserve driver for Marussia F1 Team led to this week’s announcement of his seat for 2013. He’ll be joining a few other Brits on the grid – Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, and Paul Di Resta. Rule Britannia indeed! Funnily enough, as it stands we will go in to our second consecutive season without an Italian on the grid. 2012 was the first season since 1969 that this nation, so synonymous with F1, has not had a representative. Just goes to show how international the sport is now, with 14 nationalities on the grid this year!
Well while we wait for the lights to go out at Albert Park in March, I’ll leave you with a few clips showing this pip-squeak in action. You’d better get used to it.
Max winning Race 2 in British F3 (Race 1 winner was fellow F1 driver Daniel Riccardo) Race 2 starts about 1 minute in.