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Chilton: I have got the speed

On the eve of his full F1 weekend debut, Max Chilton insists that it will not be family money bankrolling a place on the grid in 2013.
Max Chilton finally makes his F1 race weekend debut with Marussia during Friday's free practice sessions at Yas Marina, and insists that he has what it takes to become a full-time member of the grand prix grid - even if it's not his father's money.

The general perception of the 21-year old is that he has benefited greatly from an affluent family, and a generous father who, as vice chairman of insurance giant Aon, has been able to pay for not just Max, but also brother Tom, to indulge their love of motorsport to the highest level. While elder sibling Tom has concentrated on touring cars and now plies his trade for Team Aon in the WTCC, Max has remained loyal to single-seaters and, after three years in the proving ground of GP2, is now poised on the brink of joining Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta in the top flight.

The youngster certainly does not lack the ability to race, having claimed two wins for Carlin in this year's GP2 Series, en route to claiming fourth overall in the standings, but the lingering smell of family cash refuses to disappear, even if Chilton himself insists that it will not be his father bankrolling any F1 graduation.

“People look at it and say 'you've got the money to do it',” he told Britain's Daily Telegraph on the eve of his full Marussia debut, "but my dad has always said 'I'll get you to as high as I can, but F1 I can't do'.

"I'm sure he could stretch and do it, but he doesn't want to. Instead, he's managed to find two sponsors. They are British, which is good, so we could have four Brits on the grid next year and two more British sponsors. It's not silly money - and I haven't got a seat yet - but my family don't have to spend a penny. Hopefully people will learn that it's not from the family, it's from sponsors.”

Marussia appears to be the logical destination for Chilton's graduation, the Briton having been appointed as the team's official reserve at the Japanese Grand Prix, and his outing in Friday's first session at Yas Marina will provide additional experience of the both team and car as he builds on previous runs at young driver tests and exhibition days. The 90-minute session, however, will be the first time that Chilton finds himself on track with the likes of Button, Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

“It's going to be weird being on track at the same time as [Schumacher],” he admitted, pointing out that he was a newborn at the time the German made his F1 debut in 1991, “I think he is the most daunting [opponent], although there are probably a few more I would rather not get in the way of because of the way they would react.

“Over the last two years, I have really grown in confidence and I have shown I have got the speed. It's nerve-racking, but you can only step up to F1 if you feel ready in yourself.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
26.10.2012- Free Practice 1, Max Chilton (GBR), Test driver, Marussia F1 Team MR01
21.09.2012 - Free Practice 1, Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia 2013 Driver
Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team Test Driver.  12.07.2012. Formula One Young Drivers Test, Day 1, Silverstone, England.
Max Chilton (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his victory in the Hungary feature race. (World Copyright: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service)
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MCL32 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
27.05.2017 - Qualifying, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
27.05.2017 - Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MCL32
27.05.2017 - Free Practice 3, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
27.05.2017 - Free Practice 3, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
27.05.2017 - Free Practice 3, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.05.2017 - Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
27.05.2017 - Free Practice 3, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
27.05.2017 - Free Practice 3, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
27.05.2017 - Free Practice 3, Piero Ferrari (ITA) Vice-President Ferrari
27.05.2017 - Free Practice 3, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17

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Buck - Unregistered

November 02, 2012 1:43 PM

Hey that's great Max's dad can put his wallet away! Thats so nice.... Three quarters of the grid are pay drivers, phoney DRS passing, crumbly slow tires and soon even weaker engines on the horizon! Top that off with some really boring races... Indian GP was a total snooze fest. Ok lets watch Petal drive off in the distance and not even get one challenge. .


November 02, 2012 2:31 PM

Somewhere out there is a kid whose parents are homeless. They live in their car because the fathers job got shipped off to China. The kid had to quit high school and work part time in a fast food slop house to help support his siblings. He loves to drive and has a hidden talent that would enable him to take any F1 car on the grid and break the lap record at any track by 2 seconds. We'll never get to see him do it though, because all the slots will be occupied by people like...Max.

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