Max Chilton is hoping to repay more than 30 separate investors who have helped fund his step up into Formula One.
Chilton has revealed giving up part of his future earnings with the formation of a company under the Enterprise Investment Scheme. Investors pay anything from £20,000 upwards to back Chilton, with the aim of a return down the line should he progress his career.
It is not a totally unique idea as Justin Wilson raised £1.2m for a seat with Minardi in 2003 by forming a public limited company and selling shares in himself. Chilton, 21, appreciates what is at stake given the cut in his potential salary beyond this, his debut year racing in F1 with Marussia, but he feels it is a risk worth taking.
“What I’ve done is not the dream way of doing things because you are giving away part of your future,” said Chilton. “But any driver on this grid would chop their arm off to get there, so if doing what we’re doing gives me my chance, then that’s the way to go about it.”
After a solid first practice session yesterday ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix tomorrow, Chilton managed four laps in the second before his engine cut out with an oil pressure issue. The team managed to get Chilton back out on track, but he was forced to pull over again.
Chilton said: “For a day that started so positively, it is disappointing to suffer such a setback.”
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