GP2 drivers Max Chilton and Rio Haryanto will be the Marussia F1's 'young pretenders' for this week's test of future talent at Silverstone, the team has confirmed
The pair are already part of Marussia's Young Driver Programme and have both received previous F1 seat time, with Haryanto's half-day at the 2010 Abu Dhabi test sitting alongside Chilton's accumulation of laps with Force India. Having performed well in GP2 this year, the team are keen to provide them a chance for further evaluation of their potential to progress to the highest level.
“I have driven an F1 car once before, but I feel that, with another year of GP2 competition under my belt to develop my driving further, I am much more prepared this time and eager to demonstrate that progression," Chilton reasoned, "The team have come up with a great programme, which has a bit of everything we need to showcase our potential. I can't wait for the opportunity and thanks to the team, who have already been a great support to me in GP2 this season.”
Haryanto and Chilton will each get a full day in the 2012-spec MR-01 during the test, which takes place at the home of the British Grand Prix over 12-13 July, with the Briton driving on the opening morning before handing over to his Indonesian counterpart for the afternoon. When the action switches to Silverstone' International Circuit for day two, Haryanto will commence the day's running, before handing the reins back to Chilton in the afternoon.
“We are very pleased to provide Max and Rio with some further F1 seat time and the opportunity to show more of their obvious potential," team principal John Booth commented, "We have been very encouraged by their performances so far in GP2 this season and, whilst we are supporting Max for the first time in 2012, we have obviously seen Rio at work since 2010 when he first raced for us in GP3.
"In terms of their programme, they will obviously have access to the data from last weekend's British Grand Prix and will be able to reference that when running to a basic set-up programme. We raced to a wet set-up there, so they will have the chance to adapt the programme to potentially contrasting track conditions. In addition to working with our race team engineers on procedures and controls, we will have plenty of new tyres which means they can work through some good qualifying and race runs and learn about the idiosyncrasies of the 2012 Pirelli rubber.
"Both Max and Rio are pretty fit anyway, but this will be a good opportunity to provide them with information about their physical and mental approach to F1 racing. We will also be integrating some of our GP3 team engineers into the day to afford them an opportunity to learn and progress within the family.”