Marussia F1 Team
|Career statistics to end 2013|
It was on January 11 that Max Chilton got the nod for a second season with Marussia, who thus become only the second team to go into 2014 with an unchanged driver line-up as he again partners Jules Bianchi.
Chilton will be competing in his seventh single-seater season, the previous six years having embraced F3, GP2 Asia and the main GP2 series, where his late-season form in 2012 won him his Marussia seat in the first place.
We said last year that his might be the steepest learning-curve of all the newcomers, and in a sense it turned out that way: Max was 23rd and last of the drivers in the 2013 World Championship, as even temporary returnee Heikki Kovalainen achieved two 14th places that put him above the young Englishman.
Still, Chilton can point to a combative weekend in Monaco as one of his highlights, and that 14th place in the Principality was certainly his best finish of the entire season.
Team principal John Booth was quick to stress the need for continuity in a 2014 season that brings wholesale changes on the technical front, and equally keen to remind listeners that Chilton did achieve one notable first in 2013: he set a rookie record by managing to complete all19 races of his debut season, and that’s no mean feat in itself.
And Chilton insists the best is yet to come.
“You learn such a lot in your debut season,” he said, “but the second year is when you can really pull all of those new experiences together and show your true potential.”
Booth and Marussia will certainly hope so as the team strives to record its first World Championship points.