As expected, Max Chilton will become the fourth British driver of the F1 grid next season, having been confirmed alongside Timo Glock at Marussia.
The 21-year old is the team's incumbent reserve, a role he assumed at the Japanese Grand Prix in October following an impressive season with the Marussia Carlin GP2 team. The 2013 campaign will be the first in F1 for the Marussia driver development programme member, who made his race weekend debut with an outing in Friday free practice in Abu Dhabi last month.
Marussia's announcement fulfils an eight-year dream for Chilton, who progressed rapidly through the karting and junior formulae ranks before spending three years gaining experience of international single-seater racing in GP2.
During both the Silverstone young driver test and his FP1 outing in Abu Dhabi, Chilton impressed with his speed, quality of feedback, set-up ability and contribution to developing the car, and, with his easy-going personality, is expected to be an extremely popular addition to the team.
“We are delighted to welcome Max to the role of race driver with the Marussia F1 Team for the 2013 season,” team principal John Booth commented, “We have spent a significant amount of time evaluating his performances during 2012, both in our own car in a testing situation and also from the pitwall, as we monitored his progress alongside the other members of our junior talent pool during grand prix support races.
“We felt confident enough in his ability and potential to appoint him to the role of reserve driver in September and, since that time, his development has been rapid in all aspects. First and foremost, he has shown himself to be extremely capable in the car. Most recently, in Abu Dhabi, he was put to the test in a competitive environment which included providing him with an opportunity to demonstrate his outright pace and consistency over a single lap. We saw just how much he has progressed even since the Silverstone test in the summer and through the succession of GP2 races thereafter, when he achieved two pole positions and two race wins.
“Not only that, Max very quickly embedded himself within the team, thanks in no small part to the fact that he is a lively and affable character who we've enjoyed having around. Having been integral to our race weekend engineering environment for the past three months already - as well as having undertaken a significant part of our simulator programme - Max has already found his feet.”