Max Chilton will make his Formula One race debut for Marussia in 2013, the team has confirmed.
Chilton will partner Timo Glock next year, taking the place of Charles Pic who has moved to Caterham.
“It’s hard to put into words how I’m feeling today,” said Chilton.
“I am very fortunate to have spent the last six races with the Marussia F1 Team as reserve driver, which means that instead of a standing start, I am already up to speed and at ease with the people, the culture, the systems and of course, the 2012 package.
“During the period since the Japanese Grand Prix, I have watched at very close quarters the incredible commitment and determination to succeed that saw everyone in the team pushing until the very last race. I feel very lucky to be able to embark on my F1 racing career with this group of people.”
“Pre-season testing is just a few weeks away, so my focus now is to continue my physical preparation whilst spending as much time as possible working with the technical team to help develop the car I will drive in my debut F1 season.”
Chilton, 21, drove for the team during the first practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this year, as well as at the Young Drivers’ Test sessions.
He spent the last three seasons in GP2, finishing fourth in this year’s championship with two wins for Carlin. He is the younger brother of World Touring Car Championship driver Tom Chilton.
Marussia team principal John Booth said: “We have spent a significant amount of time evaluating his performances during 2012, both in our own car in a testing situation and also from the pit wall as we monitored his progress alongside the other members of our junior talent pool during Grand Prix support races.
“We felt confident enough in his ability and potential to appoint him to the role of reserve driver in September and since that time his development has been rapid in all aspects. First and foremost, he has shown himself to be extremely capable in the car.
“Most recently, in Abu Dhabi, he was put to the test in a competitive environment which included providing him with an opportunity to demonstrate his outright pace and consistency over a single lap. We saw just how much he has progressed even since the Silverstone test in the summer and through the succession of GP2 races thereafter, when he achieved two pole positions and two race wins.
“Not only that, Max very quickly embedded himself within the team, thanks in no small part to the fact that he is a lively and affable character who we’ve enjoyed having around. Having been integral to our race weekend engineering environment for the past three months already – as well as having undertaken a significant part of our simulator programme – Max has already found his feet.”
Chilton is the third rookie driver to be confirmed for 2013, joining Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.
See the updated list of 2013 F1 drivers and teams
2013 F1 season
- Mercedes originally favoured Heidfeld for Hamilton’s seat
- Take F1 Fanatic’s new 2013 season quiz
- F1 Fanatic’s new year thanks and credits 2014
- The complete F1 Fanatic 2013 season review
- The drivers, teams and cars of 2013
Browse all 2013 F1 season articles
Image © Marussia