Chilton to make Friday practice debut

2012 F1 season

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Max Chilton will make his debut appearance in an F1 race weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Chilton will drive for Marussia during the first practice session on Friday at the Yas Marina circuit.

“This is the next step in the process of proving my potential and another important notch for me personally in terms of my ultimate goals,” said Chilton.

“As for next Friday, the 90 minutes of [first practice] will fly by so quickly that it’s a real bonus to be testing the car at a circuit I know well. It means I can get up to speed straight away and focus on delivering some proper set-up and aero evaluation data for the Team to help during the rest of the weekend.”

Chilton finished fourth in his third season of GP2 this year and won the feature races in Hungary and Singapore. He drove for Marussia at the Silverstone Young Drivers’ Test earlier this year. He also drove for Force India in last year’s Young Driver Test.

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Image © Marussia

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “Chilton to make Friday practice debut”

  1. Disappointing to see that an unproved driver like him who’s done nothing in 3 seasons of GP2 gets a chance before someone Robert Wickens who’s won junior series everywhere.

    1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
      25th October 2012, 8:45

      Nowadays, a driver’s talent is no longer enough to guarantee him a race seat.

      Sponsorship is key. It’s the reason why Kobayashi is apparently losing his Sauber seat, and why pay drivers continue to stream into F1. In which case it helps that Chilton is funded by his father, who owns the Marussia Carlin GP2 team, and thus has the relevant “connections”.

      1. I must admit you can Chilton comes from money. But this has been the case of many drivers in the history of F1. I guess what many of us fans fail to recognize is that F1 was started by rich people who were board and wanted to do something to entertain themselves. In recent years we have seen more regular working class people make their way to the top, but there remains still many drivers who get more opportunity through money and power. Chilton seems like a nice guy, is he F1 material? I don’t think so.. But I will always give people like him the benefit of the doubt.. If he gets a chance and does really well on his own merit, then he deserves to be there.

        1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
          25th October 2012, 13:56

          His personal wealth is irrelevant. What I was insinuating is that Chilton has familial links to the Marussia team through his father, as well as an advantage in sponsorship, and is thus at an advantage in getting a race seat. However, I do agree with you that he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

  2. Au revoir, Monsieur Pic?

    1. @tdog I hope not. Pic’s done pretty well all things considered. There’ve been rumours he might end up at Caterham.

    2. @tdog @KeithCollantine If Pic goes to Caterham to replace Petrov, then OK but if he is a replacement for Kovalainen, who then has to leave F1, then it will be a travesty.

      1. I agree, I feel a bit sorry for Heikki, he’s clearly a far better driver than he gets to show with the car (Great drive at Monaco this year I thought). I like Caterham, but their inability to push up into the midfield over the past seasons has been a real disappointment. If Kovalainen leaves, I think Caterham will have really let him down.

  3. William Brierty
    25th October 2012, 8:22

    I think the best way to describe Chilton is unbelievably average. If he gets a seat in F1 and guys like Razia, Valsecchi, Frijns, Evans and Da Costa don’t, then the world is a stranger place than I imagined.

    1. William Brierty
      25th October 2012, 8:36

      As I see it there are five seats are for grabs next year and they will filled like this –
      Sauber (alongside Hulkenburg) – Gutierrez
      Force India (replacing Hulkenburg) – Bianchi or Razia
      Caterham (replacing Petrov) – Valsecchi
      Marussia (shamefully replacing Pic) – Chilton
      HRT (replacing Kathikeyan) – Frijns
      Marussia –

      1. Is Glock’s contract up this year?

  4. This guy looks like he might take over the #1 pretty-boy spot from Rosberg.

    1. Ditto. Before reading the article, I though this was about a new female driver.

      1. lol.. I agree. Just before I clicked on the article my first thoughts were.. who is this hot chick ! rofl

  5. Marussia have said that they would like to keep Pic, but apparently Charles is the one who wants a change.

  6. He’s not exactly setting the world ablaze with his skills, but at least Carlin/Marussia have some sort of driver development plan in place, even if this one isn’t entirely on merit.

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