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Formula 1 fans attending the Autosport International Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham today were among the first to hear the Marussia F1 Team’s announcement that it will retain Max Chilton for a second season. Max will race alongside Jules Bianchi once again, completing the Team’s 2014 race driver line-up.

Max was present on the F1 Racing Magazine stage at the Show as Marussia F1 Team President & Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon announced the news that the 22 year old British driver, who made his F1 debut in 2013, will be racing for the Team again in 2014.

Max Chilton
“I am really happy to be continuing with the Marussia F1 Team into a second season. Continuity is important for the Team but also for me as a driver. You learn such a lot in your debut season, but the second year is when you can really pull all of those new experiences together and show your true potential. That has always been the case for me in the junior categories and I’ll be aiming for a similar step in my second year of F1 competition. I would like to thank the Marussia F1 Team for their continued faith and support. They are a great bunch of people who are extremely hard-working and ambitious and I can’t wait to embark on our 2014 season challenge together.”

Graeme Lowdon, President & Sporting Director, Marussia F1 Team
“We are delighted to announce Max directly to an audience of Formula 1 fans at the Autosport International Show today. Judging by the warm reaction we received at the Show, they felt it was well worth the wait to hear the news first hand and we at the Marussia F1 Team felt it was a fitting reward for the incredible support we receive from them. Keeping the fans at the heart of our sport is critical to its
continued success. It was great to see Max and Jules developing during their debut season last year, rewarding our confidence in such a young but obviously talented line-up. I’m sure the fans are as excited as we are to see what our drivers can go on to achieve in their second season with us.”

John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team
“We are pleased to confirm that Max will continue with the Team into the 2014 season. In view of next year’s regulation changes, continuity is key, so it is highly beneficial to our technical team that we retain the same driver line-up moving forward. Max had an impressive debut season last year and, of course, achieved a new rookie record for finishing all 19 races. He can be justifiably proud of the progress he made through the course of 2013. With our race driver line-up complete we can now focus all of our attentions on our 2014 car and moving the Marussia F1 Team to the next level. After our success in achieving 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship, we have set our sights on a bigger and better 2014 campaign.”

Max ChiltonMax Chilton’s former karting boss says Marussia’s new star will shine. Now the countdown to the first F1 Grand Prix of 2013 has begun, Max Chilton’s former karting boss is toasting his former protégé’s graduation to the Marussia race seat.

Steve Armstrong, owner of the hugely successful RL Racing Department team, guided 21-year old Chilton from his formative days competing in club events at Buckmore Park, right the way through to podium success in Europe.

“I am absolutely thrilled for him,” said Armstrong speaking from his HQ at the internationally renowned PFi circuit in Lincolnshire. “Max thoroughly deserves his opportunity. Even as a youngster he was very focused about where he wanted to be ultimately and he dedicated himself to achieving it. Now he’s done it and I am really proud of him.”

The pair first started working together in 2002, when Armstrong worked for the Scholartech outfit. From these early beginnings, Max progressed from Cadet into Junior TKM and a year later he dovetailed TKM with JICA. It was in the latter class that he really began to make a name for himself, as Steve recalls: “I remember the Champions Cup race in Rome was one such highlight. Max won the first final and took 2nd in the following race. He completed the year as a seeded driver in both the Super One classes and as a works Maranello driver.”

Aged 14, Chilton moved to the T-Car championship for two seasons before switching to the British F3 series.

“Education played a big part in his life. So Max didn’t quite do the same amount of racing that many of his contemporaries did. His beating many of them to an F1 race seat highlights his ability. I saw his potential during our time together in karts and he’s such a nice kid too. We still speak regularly, so it is good to know that he remembers his roots and those who have played their part on his journey from karting to the Grand Prix grid. Now he’s got his chance, I’m sure he will grab it with both hands and he will impress many people, including F1’s bigger teams.”

For more information about racing with RL Racing Department, call Steve today on 07843 586 416 or contact him via accounts.rlracingdept@live.co.uk. For all the latest team news, go to www.rlracingdepartmentltd.com

Photo by Chris Walker/Kartpix.

 

 

Max ChiltonDespite a disappointing final race of the year, the Marussia Carlin GP2 team leave Singapore happy with a strong second season in F1’s strongest feeder series. Despite tyre degradation and a difficult start hampering the progress of Chilton and Haryanto respectively, Chilton secures fourth in the drivers’ championship while Haryanto can reflect on an impressive rookie season. In only their second season in GP2, Carlin have come to be the team to beat in the final races of the season, taking three pole positions from the last four qualifying sessions and two Feature race wins.

Following his dominant win on Saturday, Chilton started eighth for Sunday’s reverse grid Sprint race. Having made his way through the order in Saturday’s Feature race, Haryanto started just behind his team mate in ninth place.

As the lights went out Chilton made a good start to hold position, while Haryanto found himself blocked as the field narrowed to enter the tight first corner. At the end of the first lap Chilton had dropped one place to ninth, while Haryanto was running in 14th.

Despite dominating the field yesterday, Chilton was involved in a close fight with Felipe Nasr for ninth place throughout the opening laps. The fight became more intense after Nathanael Berthon was given the black and orange flag and was forced to pit, elevating Chilton to eighth, while Haryanto was still running in 13th.

On lap five Chilton lost eighth place to Nasr as his Super Soft tyres started to lose performance, and dropped to 10th shortly after. A black flag for Sergio Canamasas effectively elevated Chilton from 10th to 9th and Haryanto to 12th, although Canamasas failed to serve his penalty for several laps.

The one and only safety car of the race came out after Robert Binder crashed and was left stranded across the start/finish straight. After marshals had cleared away the accident, the racing action got underway again on lap 12 and at the restart both Carlin men held their position. However, both Chilton and Haryanto came under attack and were 12th and 13th on lap 14.

Running on the Super Soft tyres, Chilton was clearly struggling for pace and was passed by his team mate on lap 15. Haryanto continued to make progress and was involved in a close battle with Stefan Richelmi, which resulted in contact between the two on lap 20. In a relatively uneventful end to the race, the young Indonesian went on to finish 11th, while Chilton was 19th.

Reflecting on his end to the season Chilton said, “I’m hugely happy and proud of what the team and myself have achieved over the past two years. We have both developed as one and to grab fourth in the championship following our second Feature race win at the last round of the season is the icing on the cake. I just want to thank the team and my engineer Andy for all their hard work which have made these results possible.”

Haryanto added, “It’s been a mixed season in GP2, as a rookie it’s been a steep learning curve and I’m happy to have shown my pace with a pole position and several battles for the podium but I’m frustrated that that hasn’t been converted into more points. Having said that, I’ve built a great foundation this year for future seasons.”

Photo by Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service

Max Chilton has added to his sensational Singapore weekend with a dominant victory for the Marussia Carlin GP2 team – making history by winning the inaugural GP2 Series Marina Bay Feature Race in the process. Jumping pole sitter Luca Filippi off the start line Chilton, a newly appointed F1 Reserve Driver for Marussia F1, led the long race from the first corner taking maximum points and is now locked in a battle for third place in the Championship standings with Esteban Gutierrez. Team mate Rio Haryanto had another strong race to collect further points finishing in ninth place.

After a qualifying session yesterday under the lights in Singapore, this afternoon’s race got underway in humid conditions. Chilton lined up on the front row of the grid in second place while Haryanto started 16th.

As the lights went out Pole sitter Filippi bogged down giving Chilton the advantage as the field streamed into the first corner. By the end of the first lap the Marussia Carlin man had pulled a gap to Gutierrez to lead the race however a safety car, brought out by Rene Binder’s off, neutralised positions for the next couple of laps. Meanwhile Haryanto had a difficult first lap and was lying in 18th place.

As the race got back underway Chilton had once again pulled a gap over Gutierrez, maintaining the lead as the pit stop window opened. Haryanto was the first of the Carlin men to pit, before both Chilton and Gutierrez pitted together a few laps later – leaving them with fewer laps to run on their final set of tyres

Exiting the pits Chilton’s position was maintained however both he and Gutierrez found themselves marginally ahead of Filippi on track, who had pitted early and was up to speed on his new tyres following his disastrous start to the race.

With all pit stops complete a few laps later, Chilton was able to retake control of the race while Haryanto had moved up to 15th place following a multi-car mid-field fight for position. James Calado had backed the pack up somewhat leaving a train of cars behind him all fighting for position in a relatively small area of track. However the ailing Brit pitted a few laps later which moved Haryanto up to 13th and leaving him free to challenge Stefano Coletti before a problem for Jolyon Palmer moved the Indonesian up a further position.

With Chilton controlling the pace at the front the race soon became about tyre management. Those who had pitted earlier were dropping off the pace at a rate of knots and feeling the need to return to the pits; this changed positions in the top ten quickly. Haryanto, who had looked after his tyres well, moved up to tenth before a second safety car period once again neutralised the race.

At the front Chilton’s dominant display continued, and having led the race from the first corner the British Racer took his sensational second Feature Race win of the year – making history in doing so as he became the very first GP2 Series Singapore race winner. His efforts now see him fighting for third in the championship with Guttierez; a fight which will be concluded tomorrow afternoon in the final race of the 2012 season.

Haryanto meanwhile picked up points for ninth place following a last minute crash from Coletti under the safety car. The points picked up today see Carlin lying fourth overall in the Teams’ Championship and fighting for third position with Arden International who are just 11 points ahead.

Reflecting on his brilliant win Chilton said, ‘My second victory this year really couldn’t have come at a better time for me, to top off what has been a great weekend so far with a Feature Race win is just perfect. The car was amazing, the pit stop was fast and strategy was great – the team did an amazing job all weekend so I want to thank them for that.

‘It was a very long race in that car, we knew it was going to be but it was tough around here, so to take the win is even more special and I’m thrilled. I couldn’t be happier with how today has gone.’

Max Chilton brushed off the pressure of being announced as Reserve Driver for the Marussia F1 Team yesterday, by qualifying on the front row in Singapore this evening, ahead of the 2012 GP2 finale. The Marussia Carlin GP2 driver was involved in a close battle with GP2 veteran Luca Filippi, until a red flag prematurely ended the session while Chilton was P2. Team mate Haryanto was left disappointed after a promising practice session earlier today, with the curtailed qualifying session leaving him in 16th place.

This morning’s free practice session was a wet affair following a torrential storm leaving large amounts of standing water on track. As the drivers took to the track, it was a new experience for the majority of them, with only Haryanto and DAMS’ Felipe Nasr having previous experience of the Singapore street circuit.

Haryanto wasted no time in showing his pace and was amongst the front runners for the duration of the session. Despite the adverse weather hampering test programmes, Haryanto was able to set the eighth quickest time, while Chilton was 22nd.

The GP2 drivers returned to a dry track later in the day, for their first racing experience under floodlights as the light faded over Singapore. Chilton and Haryanto were amongst the first cars to hit the track as the 30 minute qualifying session got underway.

Both Carlin men were in the top ten in the early stages, with Chilton’s first lap putting him third, before the times started to fall, dropping him down the order. Haryanto was also inside the top ten in the first half of the session, until several drivers improved just before the half way point.

As the drivers entered the pits for some last minute tweaks and new tyres, Chilton and Haryanto were fifth and 14th quickest respectively.

With just over eight minutes left on the clock, both Carlin men were back out on track, having made the change to new Super Soft tyres. As fellow Brit Jolyon Palmer went quickest, Chilton set his best first second followed by a purple middle sector. The Marussia F1 Team Reserve Driver completed his lap to take provisional pole a full 0.6 seconds quicker than Palmer.

With just under two minutes remaining, Luca Filippi managed to go just 0.052 seconds quicker to steal the top spot. Chilton was pushing hard though, and went quicker again at the start of his next lap, but the 21 year-old was unable to improve after a red flag brought the session to an early conclusion following an accident for Nigel Melker. Team mate Haryanto was hurt more though, the Indonesian was on a much better lap when the session was brought to a premature end. With one and a half minutes left on the clock, Chilton had secured an impressive front row start in second, while Haryanto was 16th.

Reflecting on his session, Chilton said, “I was really pleased when it stayed dry for our qualifying session after practice this morning, and I knew we could do it. The tyres felt good in the first half of the session and I was fifth quickest and not far off. There were a few drivers who were quicker on the Prime tyre, but my engineer said to stick with one we’d planned on the Option tyre, and that was the right choice because the car just felt fantastic in the second half of the session. I managed to get a good lap together and took pole, and then the next time round I was improving again and was up by a tenth of a second just before the red flag came out. When my engineer told me I was P2 it felt like I was 20th, I was so disappointed not to get pole, but the front row is still a good place to start. I’m really excited about the race tomorrow, although I think it’s going to be a really tough one and hard on the tyres. This circuit is amazing, and it’s an incredible feeling to race under the flood lights.”

The bright lights and glamour of Singapore will this weekend host the finale of the 2012 GP2 Series – a season which has so far seen Carlin take three consecutive pole positions and a sensational win from pole, for Max Chilton who is still in with a fight for third in the championship standings. This will be the first time that GP2 has visited the Marina Bay complex however for Carlin man Rio Haryanto it will seem like a familiar hunting ground following a podium position at the track in 2009 while competing in the Formula BMW Asia Pacific Championship.

The GP2 Series finale in Singapore this weekend will be the first time the championship has raced as the support to the Formula One night race. The Singapore street track will be a new challenge for the majority of the drivers in the GP2 field. Haryanto, an exception, has previously raced the Singapore circuit in 2009 where he secured second position before going on to win the Formula BMW championship that year.

For Carlin Singapore signals the end of what has been a successful year – only their second in the championship. With three pole positions and a win to date the team currently lie sixth in the team standings with two races left to run. Chilton’s season in the championship has also been his best to date with his dominant pole position and win in Hungary a highlight which now sees him sitting fifth in the Drivers’ Championship. The young Brit is aiming for another successful weekend in Asia as the battle for third in the drivers’ championship reaches its climax.

The tight Marina Bay circuit features 25 demanding corners during the 5.073 km lap meaning free practice on Friday morning will be vital for the entire field as they look to learn the circuit as quickly as possible. Full concentration is demanded from all the drivers as the close barriers and high kerbs keep them alert during both races this weekend.

Looking ahead to racing around the circuit for the first time Max Chilton said, ‘I’m really looking forward to this weekend and very excited about driving the Singapore circuit. The whole city and atmosphere here is so amazing and so is the track from what I’ve seen so far. I think we have a good chance here if we continue the momentum from the past few races so I can’t wait until Friday afternoon to try it out!’

Having already competed here in the past team mate Rio Haryanto added, ‘I raced here with the Formula BMW 2009 taking a podium in a year where I went on to secure the championship. It’s a very technical track and requires a lot of concentration to get every corner right. The GP2 car is going to feel completely different around here but I’m hoping that my experience of the track will give me an advantage as we head into Friday’s running.’

Max ChiltonMarussia Carlin driver Max Chilton took his second points scoring finish of the weekend in Sunday’s GP2 Feature Race in Monza. Starting from fifth on the grid Chilton lost a place on the opening lap before coming back to take sixth after a great last lap move on Marcus Ericsson. Team mate Rio Haryanto had a storming race to finish in 12th place after starting from 18th on the grid – hustling for position with those around him throughout.

Following a close fought race for position in the weekend’s Feature Race the shorter Sprint Race got underway on Sunday morning with Chilton lining up in fifth and Haryanto 18th as the lights went out.

Both drivers had clean starts however Chilton was slightly slower away than those around him, losing one position. The next couple of laps saw contact for Fabio Onidi which elevated Haryanto up to 16th leaving him in free air to challenge those ahead which he quickly did – finding a way past James Calado while a pit stop for Luca Filippi moved the Indonesian up to 13th.

Chilton meanwhile started to close the gap to those ahead setting the fastest first sector one, however a close fight with Stefano Coletti and Johnny Cecotto saw Chilton run wide onto the kerbs and lose track position.

Haryanto was looking fast and had made further position on track after a clean move on Rene Binder before mounting a challenge on Sergio Canamasas and Giedo Van der Garde. Unfortunately the Carlin man ran out of time with the race coming to an end – crossing the line in 12th place.

Chilton had a great last lap charge overtaking Ericsson who was preoccupied by a fight with with Colleti, which allowed Chilton to sling shot through Ascari and cross the line in sixth place.

Reflecting on the race Chilton said ‘I had a slightly bad getaway which didn’t help me and then I was squeezed going into the turn one while those around cut the corner and ran wide. From then I settled into the rhythm of the race and pulled a gap to those behind.

‘With five laps to go I was catching those ahead and on the last lap the group in front came together which made it possible to overtake. Obviously I’m a little disappointed not to have been on the podium this weekend because I think we were capable of that, but I’ve moved up in the drivers’ championship and now look ahead to more points finishes in Singapore.’

Team mate Haryanto said of his weekend, ‘It was a little difficult for me here at Monza this weekend, the first race really didn’t go my way however I enjoyed the second race a lot more. I had some great battles on track and I’m pleased to have made up some positions. The final round is in Singapore and it’s a track I’ve won at in the past so I’m really looking forward to competing there and having a good weekend.’

Marussia Carlin driver Max Chilton has picked up further championship points following a close fought GP2 Series Feature Race at the Autodromo di Monza this afternoon. Starting on pole Chilton made a brilliant start and defended well into the first corner however after leading the first few laps he lost position – coming home in fourth position. Team mate Rio Haryanto’s race was also difficult with a slow start and traffic seeing him cross the line in 19th.

After a brilliant qualifying session yesterday which saw Carlin claim their third consecutive pole position of the season Chilton lined up at the front of the grid ready to lead the pack away. Off the line he was quick into the first corner moving to the right of the track to cover the fast-starting Davide Valsecchi. With Luca Filippi also having a quick start the battle into the first corner went to Chilton after the Italian cut the chicane after missing his braking point.

Haryanto meanwhile suffered different fortunes with a slow getaway leaving him down the field and unable to make the positions back and was lying 17th by the end of the first lap.
Meanwhile at the front Chilton was holding the gap to Filippi well however the Coloni driver pitted which Chilton covered one lap later. A quick pit stop from the Carlin mechanics brought him out ahead of Filippi allowing him to rebuild a gap.

Although Haryanto’s pit stop was also quick he was held in his box to allow passing traffic by, unfortunately losing further positions upon rejoining the track.

A fast approaching Filippi had caught Chilton and made a way past leaving the British racer in seventh with a few drivers ahead still to take to the pits. Despite looking quick in the subsequent laps he started to come under pressure from both Johnny Cecotto and Marcus Ericsson and although he fought well, Chilton dropped to fourth place – the position in which he took the chequered flag.

Haryanto had been making headway after his difficult opening laps however the young Indonesian lost two positions while trying to overtake Simon Trummer to cross the line in 19th place.

Max Chilton has taken a superb pole position ahead of the GP2 Series Feature Race after what had been a dominant display for the Marussia Carlin driver – making this the team’s third pole in succession. Having already topped the earlier free practice session Chilton was the man to watch and once again proved his speed producing a brilliant lap to clinch his second pole position of the 2012 season. Team mate Rio Haryanto had a similarly strong showing around the Autodromo di Monza this afternoon and will start from 11th place on the grid tomorrow.

Chilton had a storming practice session earlier in the day and was considered to be the man to beat from the off – a point he proved on his first flying lap as he went quickest before a battle for position ensued between himself, Giedo Van der Garde and Johnny Cecotto. Although losing the top spot Chilton remained in third place however the squabbling at the front, and the resulting fast falling times, had pushed Haryanto down to tenth.

With 20 minutes of qualifying remaining Haryanto began to make his way up the time sheets and set the quickest second sector in a lap which would see him move up to seventh place before making his way to the pits for a few adjustments. Chilton would join him a lap later; still lying third in the overall standings.

Both Marussia Carlin drivers rejoined the track with 11 minutes left on the clock. Already out on track Luca Filippi was going quicker and bumped the British racer to fourth position and consequently Haryanto down to eighth. However in the next few laps the screens stayed very similar with most drivers remaining in their current positions.

However Chilton began once again to light up the timing screens setting the fastest final two sectors which brilliantly moved him to the top of the timings. With this dominant display on track Chilton clinched provisional pole. Haryanto meanwhile was once again setting personal best sector times and looking strong in his top 10 position however as the chequered flag fell he took it in 11th place.

Pushing even harder, and going faster, on his final lap Chilton lost the rear end of his car in the final corner which subsequently sent him into a spin and stopped him on track bringing out the yellow flags and ultimately ending the session.

Reflecting on his second pole position of the 2012 season, ‘It was a very good qualifying session for me which topped off what has been a strong day. We’re having a good run at the moment and it’s great to see Carlin take their third pole position in succession.

‘It was a harder session today than this morning because the pressure is on but I’m really pleased to be where I want to be, I’m happy for the team and I’m looking to convert it to the win tomorrow. I was pushing just a little too hard on my final lap and last corner caught me out; I tried catching the car but it was just far too gone, it would have been nice to see how that lap would have ended because I was going faster at the time.’

It was a promising practice session for the Marussia Carlin GP2 team this morning as Max Chilton and Rio Haryanto took to the track for the first time this weekend; setting the pace to beat while doing so. Recent race winner Chilton set a storming lap in the first half of the session to take him fastest – 0.4 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. Last weekend’s pole sitter Haryanto was a front runner during the session and ended in eleventh.

In stark contrast to this time last week the Marussia Carlin cars made their way out on a circuit bathed in sun and no sign of the heavy rain that hampered practice at Spa. From the start both Chilton and Haryanto were looking fired up and ready to put the previous round behind them. Haryanto was an early pacesetter placing his car in the top four and holding well in the opening minutes.

However Chilton was on a hot lap and was soon threatening the positions of the fastest drivers on the timing screens. Pulling together a great lap he flew to the top of the order however as the track was getting rubbered in the times were falling rapidly with Luca Filippi knocking the British racer off the top spot. Chilton regained the position almost immediately as the lap times continued to fall.

Meanwhile rookie Haryanto, who has always run successfully around the Autodromo di Monza, was also looking strong and had been setting consistently quick sector times to keep him easily lying within the top eight.

Lighting up the timing screens Chilton was becoming the man to watch on track. Not only had he set the quickest first sector but his second and third sectors were also the fastest, putting the Carlin man P1, over half a second ahead of series veteran and returnee Luca Filippi. The incredible lap, and three separate sectors, was not able to be matched by anyone in the field. Felipe Nasr was closest by the chequered flag, but was still some 0.4 seconds off Chilton’s best effort.

Having come into the pits for a few quick adjustments Haryanto had been lying within the top ten for almost the entire session and took the chequered flag in a strong eleventh position

Seeing his time hold the top spot for the rest of the session Chilton said, ‘It’s great to be back driving on a quick circuit. I had a nice clear track ahead of me with no traffic at all. The car felt brilliant to drive today so I built up lap by lap until I knew that the time was good enough.

‘This afternoon’s obviously the session that counts and hopefully we can get it done there but I’m feeling good going into qualifying.’

Qualifying gets underway this afternoon in Monza at 16:00 local time.