Fearless Max Chilton primed to become latest Briton on Formula One circuit

 

Max Chilton drives a Formula One car at an official Grand Prix meeting today as he moves into the frame to become the next Briton to race on the circuit full-time.

The 21-year-old from Reigate will handle the Marussia normally driven by Frenchman Charles Pic, as confirmation of the Banbury team's growing interest in him.

Chilton, who recently became the team's official reserve driver, is clearly excited, but there's also a calmness that is missing in most young men his age. He's focused on doing the best possible job, and very aware of the subtext: a possible chance to race for Marussia alongside the German Timo Glock in 2013.

"We've been chasing the Abu Dhabi [drive]," he admits, "but it wasn't until Wednesday morning in India recently that the team told me they were going to announce it. Until it happened, I wouldn't let myself believe it was 100 per cent sure.

"It's really good that it's going to happen there, because I don't need to worry about learning the track as well. I've done a stupid number of laps there in several cars, and did around 900 kms of running there in last year's Young Driver test in the Force India. And I've driven the Marussia car in the Silverstone Young Driver test back in July, so I know that too."

This season Chilton emerged as a genuine talent, taking two pole positions in the GP2 support category which is one rung below Formula One on the racing ladder, and winning two races for the Carlin Marussia team.

As Formula One debuts go then, the circumstances could scarcely be better. "It's always going to be tricky having only an hour and a half, when for much of that there'll be lots of traffic and the track will be at its greenest," he acknowledges. "I know the team would really rather that I keep the car on the track, than try to push too hard and risk going off. So would I. My personal aim is to do a solid job and come out of it feeling that I did it well. I need to know that I did the best that I could. I was only 20 when I first tested an F1 car, and my confidence grew from there. I'm not arrogant but I believe in myself when I'm behind the wheel."

Marc Hynes is Marussia's head of driver development, but was also the man who beat Jenson Button to the 1999 British Formula Three Championship. He knows how to drive, isn't given to hyperbole, and rates Chilton very highly.

"I think he's underrated. To be able to put a car on pole position in GP2 and to win two feature races, against that quality of opposition, shows that he's ready for F1," he insists.

"He's got the speed and he can win, all he needs is the experience. He did a great job at the Silverstone test, he's very intelligent and has very high quality feedback. He's likable and deals with pressure well. That's conducive to stepping up to F1."

And Chilton likes the ring of being the next Briton to race in Formula One.

"For sure that's a good thing. And I don't feel pressure from it. I'd rather it was me than any other Brit! Actually, it feels good. I want to be in F1 for the long run."

Racing brothers

Max and Tom Chilton

Max competes in GP2. Older brother Tom races in the World Touring Car Championship.

Paul and Stefan Di Resta

Force India's Paul has been in F1 since 2010. Younger brother Stefan raced in this year's Mini Cooper Cup.

Lewis and Nic Hamilton

McLaren's Lewis is an enthusiastic supporter of younger half-brother Nic, who races in the Renault Clio Cup.

Life and Style
Social media users in Mexico who commented on cartel violence have been killed in the past
techTweets not showing up or loading this morning, users say
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker