Max Chilton says he is hopeful that he can conclude a deal to join Timo Glock at Marussia for the 2013 F1 season after confirmation that Charles Pic is to leave.
Chilton had been hotly tipped to move into a race seat for the new season before official confirmation that Charles Pic would be moving on – with the announcement that the Frenchman is to switch to Caterham only increasing speculation about the future of the current test and reserve driver.
The Briton had his first taste of an F1 weekend when he took part in Friday practice in Abu Dhabi and with a race seat now officially on offer, Chilton said he was confident about his chances of lining up on the grid in 2013.
“I was glad to see that Charles has gone to Caterham as that has opened up a space at Marussia, where I want to be,” he told GPUpdate
. There are plenty of negotiations going on and I've just to work over the next month or so to try and get that role.
"We've obviously got other plans in place if a race seat doesn't come off, so I may spend another year learning and just developing my skills. But, I really want to get that race seat. I think the team are really enjoying my company and are happy with my speed so hopefully something will come off."
With Marussia having only just missed out on tenth in the constructors' championship to Caterham depite not running KERS on its cars in 2012, Chilton said he felt sure that he could enjoy a solid debut season if a deal can be struck – with the team hopeful of a step forwards in 2013.
"Speaking to Pat Symonds on Thursday, next year's car sounds very, very good," Chilton added. "With the addition of KERS as well, that's just free time. There's no loss by installing it, it's just pure time they're going to find with that.
"KERS in itself would put us further up the grid and if we're having the car they say we will then it's going to be a very promising year. Pat seems to think we've found a lot. I think that combined with KERS and everyone's drive from this year, just losing out on tenth in the last round, the team is looking very strong for next year."